Govt: Health Scare On New Zealand Flight Just Flu

Published February 12, 2012 11:36PM (EST)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A health scare on a flight from Japan to New Zealand appears to be nothing more serious than a seasonal outbreak of influenza.

About 60 passengers traveling on a flight from Tokyo to Auckland arrived Monday morning complaining of flulike symptoms, sparking a swift response from health authorities.

But by midmorning, New Zealand's Health Minister Tony Ryall put out a statement saying "there's nothing to suggest it's anything other than seasonal flu."

Ryall said it's Japan's traditional flu season and there are no reports of any new strain of flu there this year.

The flight, which arrived at 9:20 a.m., was carrying 274 passengers, who were initially told to stay onboard while crews of medical staff wearing masks assessed their health.

By Salon Staff

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