Sick Emirates airline passengers test positive for flu, cold virus

Dozens of ambulances met the aircraft

A spokesman for New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio, said that some of the passengers had originally come from the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, which was now experiencing a flu outbreak, and that the passengers' symptoms were "pointing to the flu".

The CDC, the Philadelphia Health Department and the Philadelphia Fire Department personnel performed medical evaluations and assessments, the airport said. Nine passengers underwent additional medical screening on site before being released, it added.

Emirates announced Wednesday that 10 passengers were taken ill on a 14-hour flight from Dubai to NY, where the aircraft was met by U.S. health authorities.

Initial reports from NBC New York said up to 100 passengers said they felt sick, with sources saying about 18 people had been taken to the hospital.

Vanilla Ice is aboard an Emirates Airbus A380 jet quarantined at John F. Kennedy International Airport in NY, according to the musician's Twitter account.

The two American Airlines flights were met by emergency medical screening when landing, with 250 crew members and passengers involved.

Dozens of vehicles surrounded the aircraft at JFK airport, with local media reporting that people were coughing and had high temperatures. Shortly after 11 am ET, Phillips said that 40 had been cleared to go on through customs and "a few others" were showing symptoms and being held for treatment or possible transfer to a hospital.

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.

Barbot said 106 people initially reported feeling sick during the flight but the "vast majority" were found to be free of any illness when screened. Seven of the people taken to the hospital were crew members.

He said that some of the passengers had originally come from the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, which was now experiencing a flu outbreak, and that the passengers' symptoms were "pointing to the flu".

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