UPDATE – A Continental Airlines jet touched down at Newark Airport earlier today with 280 passengers aboard, 85 of whom had taken a river cruise in China and appeared to be sick with a flu-like disease. Has bird flu arrived in New Jersey? UPDATE: On CNN.com, Katy Byron quotes Dennis Quinton of the New Jersey Dept. of Homeland Security as saying that there is “nothing to be concerned about. The plane has officially been allowed to enter the US.”

We hope Quinton is telling the truth and isn’t just trying to avoid creating panic. The plane originated in Hong Kong. Byron quotes Continental Airlines spokesman David Messing as saying, “It is believed that the ill passengers were part of a group of more than 80 tourists who sailed together on a river cruise in Asia.” The flight crew alerted the CDC after take off and an EMS team was on the tarmac when the flight arrived.

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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