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Third flight lands in Canada with sick passengers from Cuba

For the third time in 24 hours, roughly a dozen airline passengers arrived in Canada ill from the same vacation spot in Cuba Friday.

Passengers from all three Air Transat flights were screened by staff from the Public Health Agency of Canada after touching down, said airline spokeswoman Debbie Cabana. She said they were all returning from the southeastern city Holguin.

Ms. Cabana said the latest flight to bring sick passengers from Cuba arrived at Toronto Pearson International Airport at about 3 p.m. Friday. Fourteen passengers, of the roughly 400 on the plane, were displaying such symptoms as nausea, vomiting and fever.

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She said federal health staff were primarily there to make sure none of the passengers needed to be quarantined, which none of them did. It appeared all were suffering from some sort of virus, she said.

Ms. Cabana said the people with symptoms were staying at different resorts and some of them felt ill while in Cuba.

A spokesman for the Toronto airport said that passengers were also met by paramedics, but none needed to be taken to hospital.

Michelle Larabie said she got sick on a plane returning to Toronto from Holguin on Jan. 13, a week earlier than the other flights. She said she began feeling nauseous while in the air, and her sickness and diarrhea lasted nearly a week.

"As soon as we landed, I had to run to the washroom," Ms. Larabie said.

She had been at the Club Guardalavaca resort for a week and said she had eaten at the Cuban airport shortly before returning to Canada.

Late Thursday, a flight arrived in Toronto with 20 passengers with the same symptoms.

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And about 3 a.m. Friday, a flight landing in Ottawa from the same part of Cuba had 11 people onboard with the same symptoms. Passengers weren't quarantined because they didn't pose a significant public health risk, a spokeswoman for the Public Health Agency of Canada said, but they were quarantined until they were assessed. Seven people displaying similar symptoms had arrived in Ottawa on a flight Tuesday, she said.

With files from Chris Hannay

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