In a move perfectly made for Flight of the Living Dead, an international flight from Heathrow to Los Angeles was forced to turn back just hours after takeoff when multiple passengers and members of the crew mysteriously fell ill. Of course, with reports of a Zika outbreak and the recent Ebola scare, who could blame American Airlines flight Captain Frank McGill for making such a call.
According to the Daily Mail Online, Dr. Barbara Persons was a passenger on flight AA109 who offered to help after cabin crew and fellow-flyers reported feeling nauseous and dizzy:
The flight attendant had passed out just outside of the business class lavatory and I attended to her first. She awoke after about a minute. Then lost consciousness again before being placed on oxygen … The second flight attendant was dizzy and flushed and unable to stand. Other flight attendants all toward front of plane were dizzy, light headed, had vertigo and were slightly nauseated. Two said they smelled a slight electrical or burning smell.
Police cars, ambulances and firefighters escorted the passengers down the runway, who were then held for 45 minutes as their bags and luggage were confiscated without explanation; passenger Alan Gray believes “…there could be something more to it.” But, short of a full-on zombie attack, what can you do to protect yourself from a mysterious outbreak on a plane? Many website including the International Air Transport Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer a number of resources and tips.
Among common sense measures, such as washing your hands and properly disposing of contaminated items, cabin crew are also taught to identifying sick and potentially infectious travelers, how certain infections can spread among passengers and a number of other important post-flight measures. Of course, if an actual zombie outbreak were to occur on your next flight… we can only wish you the best of luck!