SYDNEY – Dozens of people were rushed off a Qantas flight for medical treatment in Sydney after a stomach bug struck mid-journey, triggering a mass vomiting episode.
A “number of passengers traveling in the same group on QF28 (between) Santiago and Sydney became unwell with a gastro intestinal illness” on the 14-hour journey to Australia, Qantas said Thursday.
Media reports said between 20 and 30 passengers were vomiting as they disembarked in Sydney and were met by a fleet of ambulances.
“It is believed the illness was contracted before boarding the aircraft and symptoms became evident during the flight,” Qantas said in a statement.
“The aircraft has been met by medical staff to look after the unwell passengers.”
As a precaution, Qantas said all other passengers on the flight were advised to monitor their health closely over the next 24 to 48 hours.
Health authorities said they had been advised that “26 passengers returning on a Qantas flight from Santiago, Chile, developed vomiting and diarrhea on the plane, consistent with norovirus infection, a common cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis in Australia and elsewhere.”