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article imageSwine flu fear quarantines Air France flight

By Anne Sewell     Nov 29, 2013 in Health
Toulouse - When several passengers on an Air France flight from Nice to Toulouse started showing symptoms resembling those of the H1N1 flu virus, the plane was quarantined at Blagnac airport near Toulouse.
It should have been a short journey on Air France's low cost subsidiary, Hop, but things went a little wrong when several of the 47 passengers on the plane started coughing and spluttering, with some showing signs of a fever. In other words, symptoms closely resembling those of swine flu.
As reported by one French newspaper, the scene began to “resemble something out a disaster movie."
Concerned air crew started to question the passengers, and soon realized that virtually all of them did have one thing in common. They had all just returned from a trip to Bangkok in Thailand, via Dubai.
On landing at Blagnac airport near Toulouse, French authorities thought it best to unofficially quarantine the plane on the runway. Passengers were then asked to remain in their seats until paramedics had a chance to examine them, one by one.
The whole process took several hours, and after checking each passenger, paramedics decided it was best to take 16 of them to the infectious diseases department at the hospital in Toulouse. At the hospital, tests were then carried out to find out if they were, in fact, infected by swine flu.
The remaining passengers were finally allowed to disembark from the plane and return home, probably feeling extremely relieved.
France TV (in French) reports that later on Friday, the CHU Toulouse hospital communications department confirmed that all 16 people were suffering from a simple flu and that they have all been discharged from the hospital.
According to Le Monde (in French) the H1N1 virus first occurred in 2009, with the first cases occurring in the United States and Mexico. According to initial estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) the pandemic has actually caused 18,500 deaths, but according to a study, could have killed up to 579,000.
More about France, Nice, Toulouse, Air france, Swine flu
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