Federal health officials handle the situation on a plane that landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport after several passengers reported feeling ill, according to a source at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Flight 203, which originated in Dubai, was carrying around 500 passengers and landed around 9:06 am ET, the source said.
He was taken to an “isolated area,” where paramedics and officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention responded to the scene, the source said.
“I asked the stewardess for a mask before taking off, but none was available,” passenger Erin Sykes told CNN from the plane. “It was so obvious that a large number of people were sick before takeoff.”
The flight was quiet, Sykes said, so he did not think the ailments were related to turbulence or dizziness.
“People were coughing all the time, now some people have a fever,” he said. “They should never have been allowed to board.”
While a source from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said that up to 100 passengers reported feeling sick, the airline said only 10 passengers had “fallen ill.”
“As a precaution, they were immediately monitored by the local health authorities and those who need medical attention will be treated,” Emirates said in a statement. “All other passengers will disembark shortly.”
Port authority spokesman Scott Ladd forwarded the questions to the state Department of Health, but confirmed that health officials were on the scene.
Health Department officials could not be contacted immediately for comment.
The CDC said it knew passengers were “reporting an unspecified illness” aboard an Emirates flight and health authorities are working with local authorities to investigate the cause.