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United Airlines Forced to Remove Plane For Deep Cleaning After Up to 30 Passengers From Cruise Trip Fall Sick With Nausea and Vomiting

United Airlines Forced to Remove Plane For Deep Cleaning After Up to 30 Passengers From Cruise Trip Fall Sick With Nausea and Vomiting

a plane flying in the sky

United Airlines has confirmed that it was forced to remove a plane from service for deep cleaning after up to 30 passengers fell sick during a four-hour flight from Vancouver, Canada, to Houston on Friday afternoon.

The sickened passengers were part of a larger group of 75 cruise line passengers who had just finished a trip in British Colombia and were returning to Texas.

The cause of the sickness hasn’t yet been determined, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking several norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships, including the Celebrity Summit which is sailing around Alaska and British Colombia.

According to the CDC, the agency is so far aware of 68 cases of sickness among passengers during a voyage which took place between May 24 and May 31, 2024. Symptoms included diarrhea and vomiting and stool specimens taken from affected passengers have pointed the finger of blame at an outbreak of norovirus.

During United Airlines flight 1528 on Friday, at least 30 passengers started to display flu-like symptoms, as well as nausea. When the Boeing 737MAX-8 aircraft landed in Houston, the local fire department was on standby, and three passengers were medically evaluated.

Although none of the passengers had to be taken to the hospital, United decided to temporarily pull the aircraft from its schedule so that the aircraft could be deep cleaned.

Two subsequent flights had to be canceled as a result, with an onward flight from Houston to Atlanta and back scrubbed as a result. United told passengers that the plane had to be taken out of service “to address a technical issue”.

Last month, emergency responders were called to meet a Condor Airlines plane that had just landed in Frankfurt from Mauritius after as many as 75 passengers fell ill mid-flight with vomiting and diarrhoea.

Suspicion as to the cause of the illness has fallen on the food that was served during the flight, although Condor says there is no evidence that this was the case.

Certain types of food poisoning, such as Staph food poisoning, can start to cause nasty symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea in as little as 30 minutes after consuming contaminated food, according to the CDC.

Other common and highly contagious tummy bugs, such as Norovirus, can take several days for symptoms to emerge.

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