Jet2 plane chaos after health alert on board | UK | News

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A packed aircraft which had just landed from Spain was held on the runway’s tarmac after a major health alert took hold. The Jet2 flight, LS302 landed at Belfast International Airport from Alicante at 2.35pm today (May 20).

But instead of scrambling for the doors when the seatbelt light was switched off, everyone was told to remain in their seats as port health officials boarded the aircraft. The concern had been raised after an individual was showing symptoms of chicken pox.

A spokesman from Jet2 told Express.co.uk: “We can confirm that Port Health officials boarded flight LS302 earlier today after reports of a customer showing possible chicken pox symptoms.”

It’s not known how long passengers were held on-board, but the spokesman confirmed everyone has now been allowed to disembark and head into the airport building.

“Customers have now departed the aircraft after a short delay, and we apologise for any inconvenience,” he added.

Chicken-pox symptoms in adults are extremely similar to measles – the one big difference being the appearance of the rash that flares up on the body. But despite the similarities, they are both caused by different viruses.

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Measles, also called rubeola, is caused by the measles virus. Currently, cases of measles in the UK are soaring with cases elevated since last October.

With pox, spots raise into fluid-filled blisters, eventually popping and scabbing over. Chicken pox is highly contagious due to the nature of the spots and the likelihood of them popping. Measles is also very contagious.

Measles has a flatter, non-itchy, appearance on the skin. Both illnesses can see people rundown with a fever – but measles also carries more physical symptoms. Affected individuals can often come down with cold-like symptoms; such as runny noses and sore throats.

Despite officials mentioning chicken-pox fears on the plane, it’s not known which of the two viruses, if any, were determined.

John Mackenzie, thought to be a passenger, tweeted just before 4pm that doors hadn’t yet opened. He said on X: “Flight LS302 from #Benidorm landed @belfastairport, all passengers currently still on plane due to #Measles.”

Measles has been a cause for concern in the UK since October last year – with a surge in cases. There have been 1,458 confirmed measles cases in England since then, with a marked increase of 84 in a government official report on May 9.

According to the NHS, one in five children with measles experience complications such as ear infections, diarrhoea and vomiting, pneumonia, meningitis and eye disorders.

Currently, the UK has a “measles free” status, but this could all be lost in a review this September. A global increase of cases has rocketed by 88 percent between 2022 and 2023. The cause behind the sudden surge is thought to have stemmed from Covid, when vaccinations were disrupted.

But since the country has emerged from the Covid-era, experts claim the uptake in measles vaccinations has decreased and continues to fall.

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