Delta flight diverted to BIA after child becomes ill

Posted Oct. 26, 2012, at 3:54 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Delta flight en route from Amsterdam to Minnesota was diverted to Bangor International Airport shortly before noon Friday after a child became ill.

The Airbus A330-200 had 238 passengers on board when it landed in Bangor about 11:40 a.m., BIA Director Tony Caruso said early Friday afternoon. The flight resumed at 12:45 p.m., after the child and his mother were taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center by ambulance.

According to a live flight tracking website, Delta Air Lines Flight 259 departed Amsterdam at 10:52 a.m. (Central European Time). It was scheduled to arrive at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport two hours later than originally scheduled.

State epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears said Friday that the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Infectious Disease was informed of the inflight illness by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which had been notified by the flight crew.

Also informed were officials at BIA and the Bangor Fire Department emergency medical personnel involved in transporting the child and his mother to the hospital.

Sears said early Friday afternoon that he did not yet have all the details and that it was not yet clear what had made the child sick. He did say, however, that the flight crew “thought it was significant enough for the plane to divert.”

Sears said he was told the child’s symptoms included a fever, chills and swollen glands. He noted that those particular symptoms are found in a wide variety of illnesses.

“The list is very long,” he said.

Sears also said he was told that the child, a male believed to be 4 or 5 years old, is a U.S. citizen, but that the child and his mother might have been in Africa prior to leaving the Netherlands.

Sears said that the child’s illness would continue to be monitored and that the flight’s crew and passengers will be notified if the boy’s illness is determined to be contagious and if there was a risk of exposure.

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