FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, 13 February 2012
Passengers on flight NZ90 from Tokyo to Auckland cleared to leave Auckland airport earlier today.
Air New Zealand Flight NZ90 from Toyko arrived at Auckland Airport at 9.21am this morning with a group of unwell Japanese students. The first passengers were disembarked from the plane at approximately 10.55am.
The medical team at Auckland Regional Public Health worked with Auckland Airport, Air New Zealand, the Ministry of Health and other agencies to assess the situation according to their protocols.
Passengers who were sitting in seats away from the student group were disembarked first and then assessed for signs of illness, provided with general health advice, and cleared to leave the airport and continue their journeys.
Passengers travelling in the student group, or in seats close to this group, were separately assessed and approximately 40 students were found to have a mild respiratory illness with symptoms of coughs or runny noses. None of the unwell passengers showed signs of influenza or had a feverish illness, and none required hospital assessment. These passengers were cleared to leave the airport at 12.38pm today, were provided with health advice and able to complete their journeys in New Zealand.
Dr Julia Peters says “Apart from mild cold like symptoms thankfully all the students are well and have been able to continue with their journey, we have provided health advice to them. It is important that we follow up on all reports of this nature in line with our protocols as we did on this occasion.”
This is currently flu season in Japan. The predominant flu strain in Japan is covered in our seasonal flu vaccine and has been for a number of years.
Auckland Regional Public Health Service, along with other agencies, has a statutory responsibility to respond to passengers displaying symptoms of an infectious disease under International Health Regulations (2005).
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