Ukraine quarantines US passenger plane over swine flu fears

ukraineKiev - Health officials in Ukraine on Wednesday temporarily quarantined an airliner carrying more than 180 people amid fears that that at least one of the passengers was infected with swine flu, Channel 5 television reported. A US national aboard the plane arriving from New York had complained of a headache while en route to Kiev, prompting the decision by health authorities to prevent those onboard from disembarking.

The incident took place at the country's largest airport, Boryspil, north of the capital Kiev.

The 184 passengers and nine crew were kept inside the Aerosvit Airlines airplane for up to two hours at Ukraine's biggest airport, Boryspil, north of the capital Kiev, according to an Interfax news agency report.

"She complained of a headache but her temperature was normal," said Mykola Kornlienko, a Health Ministry spokesman.

Pilots aboard the flight passed on information of the woman's symptoms after a stewardess spotted the woman coughing, according to the Interfax report.

The woman took cold medicine shortly before arrival and was feeling better, and showing no symptoms, prompting Boryspil doctors to release her.

Airport medical staff examining the other passengers and flight crew one by one found no evidence of swine flu, according to the TV report.

Ukraine's Health Ministry on Tuesday recommended airlines carrying passengers showing signs of the potentially deadly new influenza, particularly headaches or elevated temperatures, inform Boryspil airport authorities prior to arrival.

The ministry also instructed airport officials to use mats soaked in disinfectant over which people arriving from Central and North America would have to walk when stepping off their flights.

Other measures ordered by the government included "intensified inspections" of aircraft after unloading, a total ban on imports of live pigs, and a ban on the import of raw pork products from Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, and some US states.(dpa)