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The local NY affiliate of NBC News reported that there was a concern some passengers had recently traveled to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where there's been an outbreak of the flu.

Haynes further reported CDC public health officers were working with local authorities to examine passengers and take all necessary healthcare measures.

As many as 19 people had been confirmed unwell, NBC New York reported, with 10 taken to hospital. "All others will disembark shortly". "The safety & care of our customers is our first priority", the carrier said in a statement.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immediately quarantined the double-decker Emirates aircraft holding 520 passengers so it could evaluate about 100 of them.

The Port Authority of NY and New Jersey declined to discuss the matter further as the situation is ongoing.

Emirates flight 203 arrived at JFK from Dubai and was taken to a staging area, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Port Authority Police awaited its arrival. Health officials were allowing the remaining passengers to disembark only after checking each one for symptoms, Phillips said.

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More than 100 passengers flying economy were quarantined, while 10 were hospitalized, after falling ill during the flight.

Ten of which had to go to the hospital, while the other ones chose not to seek medical attention. Nine passengers underwent additional medical screening on site before being released, it added.

Reports suggest symptoms point to the flu.

Makki, a television host from Dubai, said she got "just a little bit scared" through the entire experience and was aware of reports of 100 people sick.

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

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