Flight carrying sick passengers lands at JFK

Sophie Jejurikar, Staff Editor

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Many fans of the famous rapper “Vanilla Ice” panicked when the artist tweeted that his flight had landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and that medical officials were flooding the scene. Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Rob Van Winkle, said that there were two decks on the plane and the illnesses had spread throughout the lower cabin.

“So I just landed from Dubai and now there is like tons of ambulances and fire trucks and police all over the place,” tweeted Van Winkle.

Once the plane landed at JFK, 10 people were taken to the hospital for medical evaluations and tests for respiratory illnesses. Around 106, both passengers and crew members, of the more than 500 people on the flight reported symptoms like coughing, fever, or vomiting. Every passenger was screened by officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but most were cleared to leave their plane and continue their travels.

Another passenger, Erin Sykes, said that people were showing signs of illness when they were still at the Dubai airport. She asked for a mask before taking off, but there were none available. The 14-hour flight was a smooth one, so it didn’t seem that the illnesses were caused by turbulence or air sickness.

“People were coughing the whole time,” Sykes said. “Now some people have fevers over 100. They should never had been able to board.”

The return flight back to Dubai was delayed by about three hours due to the medical screenings and quarantine of the plane.

“We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused,” Emirates said in a statement. “The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”

With flu season around the corner, there are some measures people can take to avoid contracting the virus. It is especially easy to catch the flu in close settings like schools. If students don’t use proper hand hygiene and cover their sneezes, their germs can spread to others easily.

“I would suggest getting your flu shot by October,” school nurse Shayla Dunlap said. “Typically the flu shot takes two weeks to get the antibodies into your body built up to be immune to the flu, so the CDC recommends getting it by October.”

In order to prevent the flu from spreading around the school, everyone should get their flu shots and make sure to always use proper hand hygiene. If students feel any symptoms of the flu, they should stay home and not come to school due to the risk of contaminating others.

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