An Emirates Plane Is Quarantined at New York’s JFK After Multiple Passengers Said They Felt Sick. Here’s What We Know

September 5, 2018, 3:56 PM UTC

An Emirates plane has been quarantined at JFK airport after multiple passengers on board fell ill, NBC New York reported Wednesday.

Emirates flight 203 was traveling from Dubai to New York and landed shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday. Public health officials, including those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Port Authority, were at the scene and treating passengers who reportedly had fevers of more than 100 degrees and were coughing and vomiting.

Initial reports from NBC New York said up to 100 passengers said they felt sick, with sources saying about 19 people had been taken to the hospital. Meanwhile, a previous statement from Emirates via Twitter put the number of ill passengers at just “about” 10.

The discrepancy was not immediately clear, but on Wednesday afternoon, Emirates clarified that 10 people (including three passengers and seven crew members) were transferred to a hospital, and that another nine individuals underwent medical screening but were eventually released. All other passengers and crew members were “allowed to leave and clear customs,” according to the Emirates statement, although the CDC said that about 100 people originally complained of feeling ill.

One passenger took a dramatic photograph from the scene showing more than a half dozen ambulances stationed around the quarantined Emirates airplane.

The Emirates flight—which is an Airbus A380 jumbo jet—had about 500 passengers on board. While it’s unclear at this point exactly what made nearly 20% of the passengers feel so ill, NBC reports that the flight from Dubai made a stop in Mecca, where there is an ongoing flu outbreak.

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