Aviation

Qantas flight gets measles warning as Virgin passengers quarantined in London

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

Passengers are being reminded to keep their travel vaccines up to date and carry extra hand sanitizer following a measles alert on a Qantas flight and a Virgin Atlantic flight facing quarantine due to a widespread sickness.

NSW Health has issued a measles alert for passengers travelling from Denpasar, Bali to Sydney on Qantas flight QF44 on 21 February.

A young woman who travelled to Australia via Bali was diagnosed with the highly infectious disease after leaving Sydney on 25 February.

She also visited the Sydney Opera House on the same day she arrived and is believed to have stayed in the Langham Hotel on Kent street for the duration of her trip.

NSW Health is urging anyone who was in the same locations as the woman to watch out for signs and symptoms of measles until at least 15 March, as it can take up to 18 days for symptoms to present after exposure.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, passengers and crew travelling on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Barbados have been quarantined upon landing at Gatwick airport due to a widespread sickness on board.

The flight was met by emergency services when it arrived in London at 5:30am.

A South East Coast ambulance service spokesman told the Guardian that assistance was required following “reports of a number of passengers and crew feeling unwell and nauseous”.

The Guardian reported that 30 people were treated at the scene and three were taken to hospital for further checks.

“We sent ambulance crews including our hazardous area response team and a number of other specialist paramedics to the scene,” the spokesman said.

One passenger named Trevor Wilson wrote on Twitter that all passengers on the flight were cruise passengers returning from the MSC Preziosa.

“The illness seems to have originated on board ship, not the plane. Five members of cabin crew became sick on flight,” Wilson said.

Wilson also indicated the sickness was a “bad chesty cough, possibly chest infection.”

Another Twitter user claimed to have checked with MSC and said there were no issues on the ship, pointing out that if the flight attendants were also sick, they would have been infected for 24 hours.

A Virgin Atlantic told Travel Weekly the flight was met by authorities as a precaution.

“A number of customers on board a charter flight from Barbados to London Gatwick this morning (March 6th), reported feeling unwell onboard,” the spokesperson said.

“The safety and wellbeing 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.”

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