The sick passengers on the Emirates airline flight that landed at Kennedy International Airport in New York on Wednesday were most likely suffering from the flu and common cold, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
Benjamin Haynes, the spokesman for the agency, said 11 people were taken to the hospital and tests showed the patients had influenza or other common respiratory viruses. The patients were treated at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens.
Local authorities alerted the C.D.C. about Emirates Flight 203 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, after numerous passengers complained of coughing, fevers and symptoms of gastrointestinal illness.
“It was clear people were sick before they even got on the plane, so much so that I asked the stewardess for a mask,” said Erin Sykes, a passenger from New York. “People were coughing the whole flight, like phlegmy, really gross coughs.”
The C.D.C. initially said about 100 people on board were ill. After the plane landed, the agency worked with local authorities to complete health evaluations of the 549 passengers and crew members.