According to reports, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has quarantined a plane at JFK Airport after many passengers fell ill. Early indications are that several passengers may have contracted the flu after an outbreak was reported in this location. Doomsayers, however, think the zombie apocalypse might have just started.
Reuters states that 11 people have been taken to hospital as a result of the quarantine on Wednesday. Nine others, who were deemed to be sick, also refused medical treatment. Scores of individuals, including passengers and crew, were initially reported as complaining they were feeling sick. Symptoms included fever and coughing.
According to Gizmodo, the plane affected was Emirates Airlines Flight EK203, originating from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The flight landed at 8:50 a.m. ET. However, prior to that, the pilot had radioed ahead to say that they had sick people on board. The CDC was notified and met them when they landed. A multitude of ambulances was seen on location, ready to assist the ill should they require it. According to early reports, 100 of the 521 passengers appeared to be affected and reports of a multitude of passengers coughing on board were also reported.
The CDC took the temperatures of all those on board the flight in order to assess the situation. Emirates also confirmed to Gizmodo that all passengers are now off the plane and those who required medical assistance received it, while others were allowed to continue their journey.
While many people immediately started joking that this is how the zombie apocalypse started, it seems there is a much easier way to explain the quarantined plane and the mysterious illness. Initially, food poisoning was suspected as the likely culprit. However, Eric Phillips, press secretary for the New York City mayor, then tweeted that a flu outbreak may have been the cause.
All the passengers are off and have been evaluated. 19 sick. 10 to hospital and 9 refused medical attention. Health officials are processing tests now to determine the cause. Symptoms still pointing to the flu. https://t.co/ZWURgb68bJ— Eric Phillips (@EricFPhillips) September 5, 2018
Benjamin Haynes, a spokesperson with the CDC’s Infectious Disease Media Team, issued a statement to Gizmodo in regard to the outbreak on the plane.
“Approximately 100 passengers, including some crew on the flight, complained of illness including cough and some with fever. CDC public health officers are working with port authority, EMS and CBP officials to evaluate passengers including taking temperatures and making arrangements for transport to local hospitals for those that need care,” Haynes said.
“Passengers who are not ill will be allowed to continue with their travel plans, and if necessary will be followed up with by health officials. There were approximately 521 passengers on the flight. We will have more information as passengers and crew members are evaluated.”
As yet, no official statement has been made in regard to exactly how these people fell ill or the exact nature of their illness. So, for now, those who suspect the zombie apocalypse will have to take shelter and await further news.