TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) – French authorities evacuated 141 passengers and crew from a flight arriving in the French city of Perpignan from Algeria on Wednesday after a child on board was suspected of being infected with cholera, the fire brigade said.
The eight-year-old child was taken to hospital for checks after suffering bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea during the flight, a fire brigade official said.
A police source said the child’s mother and several passengers sitting near them were also hospitalised.
Another child remained on board with another person, authorities said.
The remaining passengers and crew were being kept on the tarmac before being transported to a decontamination facility for checks, the authorities said.
Algeria last month experienced its first outbreak of cholera in 22 years, with two fatal cases. Some 50 people have been infected and are being treated in Boufarik, 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) east of the capital, health authorities told Algerian media.
The source of the outbreak has been traced to bacteria from the Beni Azza river in the province of Blida, officials said. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Monday fired the governor of Blida for failure to manage the outbreak.
Algerian authorities said the disease was under control, with no new cases registered in the past three days.
(Reporting by Johanna Decorse, Additonal reporting by Emmnauel Jarry and Inti Landauro in Paris and Lamine Chikhi in Algiers; Writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Luke Baker and Toby Chopra)