Boston evacuates five with flu-like symptons from flight

BOSTON (AFP) - US emergency services in Boston on Monday evacuated five people with flu-like symptoms from a passenger jet after it was quarantined on arrival from Dubai, officials said.

It was at least the third Ebola scare on a commercial flight within the United States in just days, but none of those people taken to local hospitals was believed to have travelled from West Africa.

Emirates flight EK 237 arrived at Boston Logan International Airport at 2:30pm US Eastern Standard time (2.30 am Tuesday Singapore time) after a 14-hour flight from the United Arab Emirates.

It sat on the tarmac without being evacuated for around two hours before a team of officials dressed in Hazmat (hazardous materials) suits boarded the plane and evacuated the five passengers.

"If it is anything that puts public health at risk, we will notify the proper authorities," said McKenzie Ridings, spokesperson for the Boston Public Health Commission said.

On Sunday, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first Ebola case contracted on American soil, a Texas health care worker being treated in Dallas.

Five US airports are screening for Ebola but Logan Airport is not one of them and there are no direct flights between the northeastern US city of Boston and West Africa.

Health care workers in West Africa are on the frontline of the worst-ever Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 4,000 people this year, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and the hardest-hit, Liberia.