September 6, 2018 at 3:09 PM
The majority of sick passengers aboard a plane that was quarantined in New York have been diagnosed with “common viruses such as influenza and the common cold,” according to New York City's Health Department.
All tests for Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, were negative, according to Tom Skinner, the spokesperson for The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The flight from Dubai was quarantined for hours at John F. Kennedy International Airport Wednesday after about 100 people on board complained of unknown illnesses, officials said.
Passengers and some crew members complained of cough and fever on the Emirates Airline flight, according to officials from the CDC.
Health officials met the plane on the tarmac where medics and federal customs agents took temperatures of passengers and evaluated symptoms.
There were 549 people on board flight EK203, the CDC said.
Emirates said in a statement Wednesday that 10 individuals, three passengers and seven crew members, were taken to a hospital for medical care and evaluation. That figure increased slightly on Thursday when the CDC announced that 11 people were transported to a hospital. The rest of the passengers were released after evaluations.
The mayor's office described the response as a quarantine. The remaining passengers and crew were let off the plane by 12:30 p.m.
Health officials may follow-up with passengers who were released, the CDC said.
Photos from passengers show rows of ambulances and firetrucks on the tarmac. Larry Coben said on Twitter that fellow passengers were asked to fill out CDC forms detailing where people have recently traveled.
Rapper Vanilla Ice said on Twitter that his flight from Dubai was delayed on the runway at JFK. But it was not clear if he was on the same flight.
Ice did not return a request for comment.