SOURCE: The Telegraph: Three people have been taken to hospital after a flight reserved for passengers on a cruise ship from Barbados was quarantined when passengers and crew became unwell.
All passengers and crew on a Virgin Atlantic flight were put into quarantine after landing at London Gatwick due to widespread sickness on board.
It was a charter flight carrying 448 holiday makers who were returning home after travelling on the cruise ship MSC Preziosa in the Caribbean.
They were taken to a reception centre at the West Sussex airport for medical assessment.
Passenger Trevor Wilson wrote on Twitter: “The illness seems to have originated on board ship not the plane. Five members of cabin crew became sick on flight.”
He added that the sickness was “mainly a bad chesty cough, possibly chest infection”.
The Airbus A330 aircraft was met by the emergency services following an eight-hour flight from Barbados, which landed at 5.25am on Wednesday.
An ambulance service spokesman told The Telegraph: “South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust was called to attend an in-bound flight at Gatwick at shortly before 5am today following reports of a number of passengers and crew feeling unwell and nauseous.
“We sent ambulance crews including our Hazardous Area Response Team and a number of other specialist paramedics to the scene.
“The crews have worked together on scene to assess and treat patients approximately 30 people, most of whom have been able to be discharged from scene with advice. Three patients are being taken to hospital for further checks.”
Sussex Police supported the paramedics and a spokesman said: “The aircraft was quarantined as a precaution, and all passengers and crew were escorted to a secure location, where they were checked over by the ambulance service.”
A Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said: “A number of customers on board a charter flight from Barbados to London Gatwick this morning reported feeling unwell on board.
“The safety and well-being of our customers and crew is always our absolute priority, and local ambulance services attended the aircraft upon landing to provide medical assistance.
“We are working closely with London Gatwick Airport and medical teams to offer assistance to customers, and will conduct a full investigation into the circumstances.”
A spokesman for Swiss-based cruise line MSC Cruises, which operates MSC Preziosa, said: “We are still investigating what may have caused the illness and we are currently waiting for further updates from Gatwick Airport medical services.
“What we do know is that, on MSC Preziosa, no cases of acute gastroenteritis have been reported in the past 14 days.