New Zealand puts in quarantine 223 Koreans in bird flu scare

After a passenger of a Korean airlines plane displayed possible symptoms of bird flu in New Zealand airport, 223 people from this plane were put in quarantine by the health authorities.

The woman was later deemed to be "no risk" and suffering from suspected gastroenteritis, airport police Inspector Richard Middleton said, congratulating the flight crew for notifying authorities about the potential problem.

The woman, whose name was not released, was briefly treated at a hospital in Auckland , Middleton said.

Crew on the flight, from South Korea via Australia , alerted airport authorities when the woman began vomiting and showing other possible bird flu symptoms, sparking a lockdown on the tarmac as the plane landed, said Norman Upjon, an ambulance duty manager.

The 223 people aboard the Boeing 747 were held for about an hour under "full quarantine procedure" while a paramedic in protective clothing examined the woman, Upjohn said.

South Korea declared itself bird flu free in June, after reporting no new cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu - in birds or humans - for three months. Australia and New Zealand have reported no infections of H5N1, which has killed at least 204 people worldwide since 2003, according to the World Health Organization.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova