Ten sick passengers were taken to the hospital after their global flight landed at Kennedy Airport, where it was inspected by officials trying to figure out why so many on board were feeling ill, officials said. "They said there are some passengers that are ill so we are going to go out on the runway and hang out".
A CDC official familiar with the situation told CNN that Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a viral respiratory disease first identified in 2012, was being considered as a potential cause for illness, along with other respiratory illnesses.
A passenger gets her temperature taken as she gets off Emirates Flight EK203 at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday, amid reports of ill passengers aboard the flight from Dubai.
The initially mysterious illness that prompted Emirates Airlines Flight 203 to be quarantined upon its arrival to JFK International Airport in NY earlier this week is likely just a bad case of the flu and cold, according to health officials.
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Images of the double-decker A380 aircraft isolated on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport were broadcast by U.S. media, which reported that the plane had been quarantined. Other passengers who develop symptoms should call their doctor.
A tweet by Emirates Airlines claims that only 10 people, three crew and seven passengers, were taken to a Jamaica Hospital in Queens. They were being evaluated in the Customs and Border Protection area.
The Airbus A380 arrived shortly after 9am ET this morning, carrying 521 passengers, according to the New York City mayor's office.
Representatives for the CDC could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.
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The plane - a double-deck Airbus 380 - was taken to a location away from the terminal so emergency officials could evaluate the situation, officials from the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey said in a statement.
Emirates Airline initially said at least 10 passengers had unspecified illnesses on the flight, but it is unclear why there is a wide disparity in numbers.
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 when tests results were confirmed.
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