Visitors to Cuba returning to Canada with gastrointestinal illnesses

The Ottawa Citizen reports three flights from Cuba to Canada had at least 39 passengers returning with a variety of gastrointestinal illnesses.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said Friday two flights that arrived in Ottawa from Cuba on Tuesday and Friday had 19 passengers suffering from symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and fever, while a Thursday flight from Cuba to Toronto had 20 passengers suffering from the same symptoms.

“In all cases, quarantine officers assessed the situation, determined that the passengers did not have a disease listed in the Quarantine Act and thus did not pose a significant public health risk and passengers were released,” said Sylwia Gomes in an email reply to the Citizen.

The sick passengers on the three flights came from at least four different resorts, she said.

Early Friday morning, an Air Transat flight from Cuba carrying 260 passengers was detained at the Ottawa International Airport after 12 people complained of a stomach illness. The ill passengers were all from the same resort, so the concern forced Ottawa’s fire HAZMAT team to respond to the early morning incident.

Passengers were assessed and then cleared after nearly 20 minutes of examination, said a spokesman for the Ottawa ambulance service.

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A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time