An Australian tour group’s “World Youth Day” celebration ended with mass vomiting and diarrhea after catching a mass stomach infection while flying home from Chile, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
“It just gradually wore through them all as the flight wore on, and it was 13 hours so it was a very long flight for them,” one passenger told the Herald after the flight landed, by which point three of the 26 passengers affected by the episode had to be taken off the Qantas airliner on a stretcher.
An airline spokesperson said to the Herald that the group of students and teachers, which originated from a Melbourne Catholic school, participated in the “Youth Day” event in Brazil, was exposed to the stomach bug before boarding the flight.
“The aircraft has been met by medical staff to look after the unwell passengers,” the spokesperson told the newspaper. “As a precaution, other passengers have been advised to keep a close eye on their health over the next 24 to 48 hours and seek medical advice if they become unwell.”
Officials with the New South Wales Ministry of Health said the illness was consistent with a norovirus infection, a leading cause of gastroenteritus. Sixteen members of the group were hospitalized.
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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