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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Mecca flu outbreak??

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cobber View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 05 2018 at 9:14am
Hi Guys been a while.
Noticed this... anyone else think its odd?
We have discused the Mecca flu threat in the past

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7184226/emirates-plane-quarantined-at-jfk-after-100-people-suddenly-complain-of-feeling-ill-in-mid-air/

MILE HIGH PANIC Emirates plane quarantined at JFK after ‘100 people suddenly fall ill with fevers and coughs’ on board
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote debg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2018 at 9:38am
MERS???
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2018 at 11:03am
Another case of bad reporting...   only 10 people can be confirmed sick and all those without symptoms where allowed to continue their travel plans.

That being said this is something to keep an eye on.   Is there any evidence of a flu outbreak where this plan originated from?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2018 at 2:01pm
Unlikely that all of those people boarded the plane already sick, and highly doubtful they contracted something after boarding that would produce symptoms this quickly. I think it's a combination of something simpler like food poisoning and a touch of mass hysteria.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2018 at 3:13pm
[I suspect JD and DeepThinker are corect and this is a storm in a teacup. But just in case, here is a fairly detailed article.]

Passengers taken to hospital after feeling ill on an Emirates flight from Dubai to New York

HEALTH workers have descended on JFK airport where at least 100 passengers complained of “feeling ill” on a flight from Dubai.

AS many as 100 passengers and crew reported feeling ill during an Emirates flight from Dubai to New York, with health workers evaluating them as the plane sat on the tarmac of JFK International Airport, authorities said.

About 100 people complained of feeling sick on Emirates Flight 203, which landed with at least 521 passengers shortly after 9am local time (11pm AEST) on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement.

Nineties pop star Vanilla Ice, who was on the plane, tweeted: “This is crazy. Apparently there is over 100 people sick on the bottom floor, so happy I’m up top, it’s a double-decker plane 380.”

Nineties pop star Vanilla Ice, who was on the plane, tweeted: “This is crazy. Apparently there is over 100 people sick on the bottom floor, so happy I’m up top, it’s a double-decker plane 380.”

“Jamaica Hospital is working closely with all City, State and Federal agencies.”

Earlier, the pilot reported that two male passengers had very high fevers and that dozens were “coughing non-stop”, according to ABC News.

However, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which met the plane on arrival, said about 100 of the 520 people aboard the plane were being evaluated after complaining of illness, including cough and fever.

The aircraft was taken to a location away from the terminal so that emergency officials could evaluate the situation, officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a statement.

Meanwhile, passenger Larry Coben tweeted images of ambulances and firetrucks on the tarmac surrounding the giant aircraft.

“They have told us people are sick but have seen no evidence,” Mr Coben, an archaeologist and founder of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, posted on Twitter.

Passenger Erin Sykes posted video of officials wearing masks and gloves taking the temperature of passengers on the tarmac.

In an interview, Ms Sykes said she saw a few passengers being taken off the plane first for medical attention, but she added that “many, many” others were showing signs of illness.

“Very intense coughing. Violently sick. Going into the bathroom a lot,” she said when asked to describe the scene.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said they were monitoring the situation and President Donald Trump was being updated as new information became available.

The aeroplane involved was a double-deck Airbus A388 - the world’s largest passenger aircraft - according to FlightAware.com.

CDC public health officers worked with other agencies to evaluate passengers, including taking temperatures and making arrangements for transport to hospitals, spokesman Benjamin Haynes said in the statement. Passengers who were not ill were allowed to continue with their travel plans, he said.

Source, photos and tweets:   https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/incidents/dozens-of-passengers-have-reported-feeling-seriously-ill-on-an-emirates-flight-from-new-york-to-dubai/news-story/0a9e736a59d38cf4b8c51d5d7d7a723e
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2018 at 5:13pm
Unless it was a mass exodus from the country of people running for their lives and they were already sick. Well, that may be a stretch. Only infecting the lower half of plane of plane is a little odd.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2018 at 7:31pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2018 at 7:34pm
I should also add, in the article in previous post, some people refused treatment and I guess they were sent home. Hope it's not just day one of symptoms. I've never really heard of a flu outbreak on a plane like this before. They must have boarded sick, unless it's a super bug. Pretty strange situation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2018 at 9:34pm
Keep in mind that many terror agents including botulinum toxin, anthrax etc. notoriously behave like flu at first, hence the term ILI ("influenza like illness") in our BT preparedness work.

Considering the source of the plane, its destination, and other factors (hajjis from Mecca?) I can understand the caution of all involved.

Also, this could be a way that MERS breaks out to the world. SARS broke out in similar fashion. It is a fascinating story. RIP Doctor Carlo Urbani, who gave his life by staying at his station and fighting this illness.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2018 at 10:01pm
The BBC report talked of 19 ill and 11 sent to hospital. But it also stated
Quote In a statement, the CDC said: "Approximately 100 passengers, including some crew on the flight, complained of illness including cough, fever, and symptoms of gastrointestinal illness.

It said that after completing health evaluations on everyone on board, 538 passengers had been released and 11 people were taken to a local hospital for care......

A spokesman for New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio, said that some of the passengers had originally come from the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, which was currently experiencing a flu outbreak, and that the passengers' symptoms were "pointing to the flu".


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45425412

Too early to panic, but it does seem a very very quick spread for 100 passengers and crew to be affected. Unless, as some indicated, there is a hint of hysteria in the mix, or even a case or or two of "I will pretend to be ill and sue the airline."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 3:44am
A flu with an incubation period of several hours, or any disease for that matter, is not really possible, at least not with any "regular" flu. MERS has an incubation of 2-14 days.   

It would have to be only a few different scenarios. One, they boarded while already being sick, and there is currently a big outbreak at Mecca, or it's norovirus. Norovirus would be very rare on a plane, but it makes the most amount of sense given the incubation, symptoms, and rapid spread. Worst case of course that it's a new super-flu and it's a doomsday scenario, lol.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 3:57am
Looks like they are testing for MERS. That could be a real bad scenario it that was the case.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/05/health/new-york-plane-jfk-passengers-ill/index.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote debg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 6:43am
This is a little concerning, given the time line and that he was on a plane....

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/23/health/mers-england-case-intl/index.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 8:13am
If it's MERS, heads will roll at the CDC for letting those with symptoms to continue on their travels, of which I believe 9 had symptoms, but refused treatment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 10:32am
Looks like Flu has been CONFIRMED. Test on MERS and others are currently inconclusive.

Now we just need to make sure it's seasonal flu, and not a variant of, or new flu bug, or avian flu, and all is good. And since MERS is known to piggyback off flu, we just need conclusive results on all the above.

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/09/06/emirates-passengers-test-positive-for-the-flu/




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 1:01pm
Clearly they boarded plane while sick, although, that many is extremely odd. If they didn't board while sick, then it's a super-pandemic unfolding lol. The passengers on lower half of jet as the only ones infect is odd and would seem like human transmission, but that could also be a coincidence.

If its a new flu, and that contagious and virulent, the plan is simple.   When the stores die down at night with limited human contact, stock up.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 1:16pm
Since Flu is now confirmed, we are narrowed down to a few scenarios. Keep in mind, this whole thing is already bizarre enough lol.


Given the virulence and rate of spread, the possible scenarios can be listed on a very short list.

1.) People overly panicking and going to hospital for no reason.

2.) MERS coinfection and piggybacking off flu causing the virulence, which is somewhat common.

3.) New flu (A super-flu)


I personally think it's option one, but still that many infected on a plane is truly bizarre, but hopefully that is the case.


Feel free to comment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 1:28pm
This is really odd. Definitely one to keep a close eye on. Both scenarios are disturbing - that many people either boarding sick, or getting sick during the course of the flight.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote debg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 1:32pm
I just find the whole thing unsettling. The passengers getting on board sick - maybe, but I find it odd that 7 of the crew members with it as well are all reporting for work? Something is very weird with the situation....I hope you are right Albert.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 2:00pm
Quite honestly, all of the scenarios are so very rare (or never been seen), it's a crapshoot.

No info on the people hospitalized, no info on sequencing flu to determine which one, inconclusive results on other possible coinfections (MERS), etc....

Pretty sure they have most of the answers at this point. "Inconclusive" results may be a little telling. That would mean they are confirming a couple things.   

The CDC should never have let the people with symptoms continue traveling given the oddity of the circumstances.

Again - these things "usually" turn out to be okay. If that is the case, then we have to add this one to the playbook.   

Although, all pandemic models do show the next pandemic surfacing in either Ney York, L.A or Canada.


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