Wednesday September 19, 2018
Home Lead Story US Airport Ge...

US Airport Gets 2 Health Scares From Inbound Flights

The CDC said in a statement that the cases were a reminder that flu season is coming, and urged all U.S. citizens six months or older to get a flu shot by the end of October.

0
//
10
Republish
Reprint

Two major health scares at U.S. airports involving inbound flights are related to pilgrims returning from the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which ended in late August, U.S. health officials said on Friday.

On Wednesday, U.S. health officials sent an emergency response team with mobile diagnostic equipment to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York after they were told that more than 100 passengers aboard an Emirates airlines flight from Dubai were experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Dr. Martin Cetron, director for the division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters in a telephone interview that health officials evaluated nearly 549 passengers at the airport, and sent a total of 11 people to a local hospital for more testing.

Ten people were tested for a battery of respiratory viruses and bacteria in hopes of ruling out serious pathogens that could present a public health threat.

Hajj, U.S.
Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Wikimedia Commons

Two of them tested positive for an especially virulent type of influenza A virus, and one of the two, who was gravely ill with pneumonia, was co-infected with another respiratory virus, Cetron said. A third person tested positive for a cold virus.

All three had taken part in the Hajj, which this year drew some 2 million people to Mecca, Cetron said.

Seven crew members, who boarded the flight in Dubai and were not at the pilgrimage, tested negative for a number of respiratory infections of public health concern, Cetron said. The next day, two flights arriving in Philadelphia from Europe were screened by medical teams after 12 passengers reported flu-like symptoms. One of them had visited Mecca for the Hajj.

Cetron said health officials in New York had been prepared to quarantine a large group of sick passengers in an area at the airport. From a total of 11 passengers taken to hospital for evaluation, 10 were tested for respiratory symptoms; one showed signs of food poisoning.

“It was a much smaller incident. That’s not uncommon,” Cetron said. “Often the incoming information from multiple sources can be exaggerated beyond what we really find.”

Hajj, U.S.
Muslim pilgrims walk in the Al-Safa direction (Safa and Marwah) where Muslims walk back and forth seven times during Tawaf al-Ifada as part of the annual haj pilgrimage rite at the grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, VOA

All 10 patients with respiratory symptoms tested negative for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS, a highly infectious and deadly respiratory infection that was first identified in the Middle East in 2012.

The CDC was not alerted in advance about the two flights that landed in Philadelphia from Paris and Munich, but several travelers had complained of illness, triggering a “medical review” of 250 passengers from those flights, a spokesman said.

Twelve passengers were found to have sore throats and coughs, and one also tested positive for the flu, a CDC spokesman confirmed.

The responses were part of a well-rehearsed network of public health officials trained to identify and contain pathogens as U.S. airports and ports of entry, Cetron said.

“Our most critical issue was to rule several respiratory illnesses of urgent public health significance,” Cetron said.

US Airport
U.S. health officials sent an emergency response team with mobile diagnostic equipment to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York Flickr

Cetron said the CDC monitors databases to track outbreaks of infectious disease that could post a treat in the United States. Although unlikely, MERS was definitely a concern that the team needed to rule out, he said.

Also Read: Google Takes Initiative to Clean and Make Our Planet Healthy

“That was a low-probability, high consequence event that we wanted to rule out,” he said.

The CDC said in a statement that the cases were a reminder that flu season is coming, and urged all U.S. citizens six months or older to get a flu shot by the end of October. (VOA)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2018 NewsGram

Next Story

Asthma Ups The Chance Of Obesity: Study

The increase in the risk of obesity was even greater in people whose asthma began in adulthood.

0
Obesity, Asthma
Asthma may up obesity risk. Pixabay

While obesity is already known as a risk factor for developing asthma, a new research led by one of an Indian-origin has showed that people with the airway disease are also more likely to become obese.

The study indicates that those who develop asthma as adults and those who have non-allergic asthma are at the greatest risk of obesity.

The relationship between asthma and obesity is more complex than previously thought and more research is needed to better understand and tackle these two growing health challenges, the researchers said.

Obesity, Asthma
They found that 10.2 per cent of people with asthma at the start of the study had become obese ten years on Flickr Commons

“We already know that obesity can be a trigger for asthma, perhaps via a physiological, metabolic or inflammatory change,” said Subhabrata Moitra, research student at the ISGlobal – the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain.

However, the researchers do not know the reason why having asthma increases the risk of developing obesity or whether different asthma treatments have any effect on this risk.

The team included 8,618 people from 12 countries who were followed for 20 years.

Obesity, Pregnancy
The relationship between asthma and obesity is more complex than previously thought. Pixabay

They found that 10.2 per cent of people with asthma at the start of the study had become obese ten years on. Among people who did not have asthma, 7.7 per cent were obese ten years later.

Also Read: Exposure to Pollen During Pregnancy May up The risk of Asthma in Kids

The increase in the risk of obesity was even greater in people whose asthma began in adulthood. It was also greater in people who had asthma but did not suffer with allergies, the findings showed.

The results were presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Paris. (IANS)