A dozen passengers on two American Airlines flights from Europe to Philadelphia reported flu-like symptoms upon arrival Thursday, prompting airport officials to notify the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other authorities.
The airport said in a statement that a combined 250 passengers and crew members from American Flight 755 from Paris and Flight 717 from Munich were were held for medical review “as a precaution.”
CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes said CDC and Philadelphia public health officers worked with emergency medical service personnel and Customs and Border Protection officials to evaluate the ill passengers for influenza and other respiratory illnesses.
Twelve passengers from the two flights reported having a sore throat and cough but not fever, Haynes said via e-mail.
“None of the passengers are severely ill, and they will be released and informed of test results in 24 hours,” the e-mail said. “Passengers from the two flights who were not ill continued with their travel plans. We will have more information as test results are confirmed.”
American Airlines spokeswoman Leslie Scott said the issue came after the passengers were off the plane and headed to customs. The Airbus A330s used on the flights were not quarantined, she said.
The incidents come a day after passengers fell ill on an Emirates flight from Dubai to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Many tested positive for flu and other respiratory viruses.
With flu season approaching, the CDC recommends people sick with flu stay home and avoid travel for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. The agency also recommends the seasonal flu vaccine, preferably by the end of October.