12 passengers fall ill on two flights from Europe to US

File photo of an American Airlines aircraft taking off. Passengers on separate American Airlines flights from Munich and Paris were “held for a medical review” as a precaution, after 12 people became ill with flu-like symptoms.
File photo of an American Airlines aircraft taking off. Passengers on separate American Airlines flights from Munich and Paris were “held for a medical review” as a precaution, after 12 people became ill with flu-like symptoms.PHOTO: REUTERS

PHILADELPHIA • Passengers and crew on two flights arriving in Philadelphia from Europe on Thursday were screened by medical teams after 12 people on board became ill with flu-like symptoms, a day after a similar outbreak on a flight from Dubai to New York.

All 250 people on separate American Airlines flights from Munich and Paris were "held for a medical review" as a precaution, and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was notified, said Philadelphia International Airport spokesman Diane Gerace.

Flight 717 from Munich and Flight 755 from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris both arrived in Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, she said.

The CDC worked with Philadelphia health officers, emergency responders and Customs and Border Patrol agents to evaluate the sick passengers for influenza and other respiratory illnesses, CDC spokes-man Benjamin Haynes said.

"Twelve passengers from the two flights reported sore throat and cough, none was identified with fever. None of the passengers is severely ill, and... (all) will be released and informed of test results in 24 hours," Mr Haynes said.

The rest of the passengers from the two flights were allowed to continue on to their destination, he said, adding that the CDC would provide further information once test results were confirmed.

HIT BY FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS

Twelve passengers from the two flights reported sore throat and cough, none was identified with fever. None of the passengers is severely ill, and... (all) will be released and informed of test results in 24 hours.

CDC SPOKESMAN BENJAMIN HAYNES

No one on either plane was quarantined, American Airlines spokes-man Leslie Scott said.

She said crew members had not contacted medical personnel ahead of landing to alert them of sick passengers on board.

On Wednesday, at least 19 people aboard an Emirates airline double-deck Airbus 380 flight from Dubai were confirmed ill when the aircraft landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Ten of them were treated at a local hospital.

A press secretary for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that test results had confirmed influenza. "Some tests came back inconclusive on other viruses, which is common," Mr de Blasio's spokesman Eric Phillips said on Twitter, adding that the tests were being readministered. "All 10 patients will be kept in the hospital as a precaution until we know those final results," Mr Phillips said.

Separately, health officials in Houston said they were looking into a case of a person with measles possibly exposing others to the virus during a flight connection at the city's Hobby Airport on Aug 21 and 22.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2018, with the headline '12 passengers fall ill on two flights from Europe to US'. Print Edition | Subscribe