Passengers on board quarantined flight were sick from Saudi Arabia

MORNING REPORT/RNZ

Passengers on a Virgin Australia flight had to wait hours at Auckland Airport last night after a number of travellers fell ill with flu-like symptoms.

A passenger has described the scenes on a flight from Melbourne to Auckland, when people fell ill on board.

Mohammed Fareed told Radio New Zealand that sick passengers boarded the flight from Jeddah airport in Saudi Arabia. 

"From Jeddah we went to Abu Dhabi, then we came to Melbourne and I think from Melbourne is when they picked up that a lot of people were coughing on the plane."

Passengers on a Virgin Australian flight from Melbourne were quarantined at Auckland Airport on Monday afternoon.
STUFF

Passengers on a Virgin Australian flight from Melbourne were quarantined at Auckland Airport on Monday afternoon.

Passengers on the Virgin Australian Flight VA-167 were quarantined at Auckland Airport on Monday after reports of people suffering flu-like symptoms.

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Medical staff spent two hours checking on ill passengers before they were let off the flight, Fareed told RNZ.

Passengers had their temperature measured and were told to contact the Ministry of Health if they became sick, he said.

He said he was not sure what caused everyone to be sick, but believed the high temperatures in Saudi Arabia played a part.

"Where we were in Saudi Arabia it was about 46 degrees. Then after that when we started travelling and you drink cold water on the plane."

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) confirmed 10 passengers were checked by ambulance staff. 

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Dr Shanika Perera, medical officer of health for ARPHS, said each passenger was assessed by St John paramedics. 

"Ten passengers have been examined by St John, however none of these are seriously unwell or require further medical treatment." 

A Virgin Australia spokesperson said the pilot made the decision to alert the Ministry of Health as a precautionary measure to check the health of some passengers. 

"Passengers have now been cleared by the Ministry of Health and are able to continue on their journeys," the spokesperson said. 

Last week, an Emirates flight from Dubai to New York was quarantined after dozens of passengers fell ill with flu-like symptoms, and 12 people became sick on two flights from Europe to Philadelphia. 

 - Stuff

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