Dubai Emirates Fight to JFK Update: Sick Passengers Being Kept in Hospital

It took several hours to deplane a double-decker Airbus A380 superjumbo jet that was quarantined after arriving from a 12-hour journey from Dubai to New York City's JFK Airport on Wednesday morning.

Of the 19 passengers counted as sick, 10 went to a hospital and nine others refused to be treated, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's press secretary, Eric Phillips, confirmed on Twitter.

"All the passengers are off and have been evaluated. 19 sick. 10 to hospital and 9 refused medical attention. Health officials are processing tests now to determine the cause. Symptoms still pointing to the flu."

In a subsequent tweet early Thursday, Phillips confirmed that the 10 passengers who were admitted as patients to a local hospital were diagnosed with influenza and will continue to be monitored.

"Test results on the 10 hospitalized patients find influenza. Some tests came back inconclusive on other viruses, which is common. They'll be re-administered this morning. All 10 patients will be kept in the hospital[sic] as a precaution until we know those final results."

When Emirates Flight 203, filled with more than 500 passengers attempted to taxi on a runway at the Queens-based JFK Airport on Wednesday morning, there had been reports of as many as 100 onboard stricken with an illness.

At around 9 a.m. on Wednesday the plane was met and later boarded by first responders from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), which included some officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

An Emirates spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek on Wednesday evening that all passengers aboard the flight had disembarked from the plane after being screened by local health authorities.

"Three passengers and seven crew members were transferred to the hospital for further medical care and evaluation," the statement said. "Nine passengers underwent additional medical screening at the site near the aircraft and were released afterwards. The rest of the passengers were allowed to leave and clear customs."

The CDC told Newsweek that there were 11 people taken to the hospital. At that point, the nature of the airplane's illness remained unknown.

"We are requesting the passengers who have been evaluated and released to call their provider and health department if they develop any symptoms, and to give their travel history and report of incident," the CDC said.