A plane from Dubai was briefly quarantined at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport after reports that a mysterious illness affected several passengers.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quarantined the double-decker Emirates aircraft holding 520 passengers so it could evaluate about 100 of them. Some had complained about coughs, headaches, sore throats and fevers.
Officials said three passengers and seven crew members were hospitalized. The rest were cleared to continue their travels while the CDC sought to determine what caused the sickness.
Several passengers, including 1990s rapper Vanilla Ice, posted images of rows of police cars and ambulances lining up on the tarmac to greet the plane and of themselves having their temperatures taken.
Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Van Winkle, posted on Twitter about the emergency response.
This is crazy. Apparently there is over 100 people sick on the bottom floor, so happy I’m up top, it’s a double-decker plane 380— Vanilla Ice (@vanillaice) September 5, 2018
Eric Phillips, spokesman for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, said that it appears that some of the ill passengers had come from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, after finishing the hajj, a Muslim pilgrimage.
Saudi Arabia, which hosts millions of worshippers during the annual hajj, is experiencing a major flu outbreak.