Plane From Mexico Held to Check 2 Ill Passengers

Two men who had too much to drink caused 117 passengers on a flight from Mexico to Maryland to wait on board after landing while health authorities checked the two for symptoms of swine flu, officials said Tuesday.

The commotion began when AirTran Flight 85 from Cancun, Mexico, radioed ahead to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport that two passengers were had nausea and fever, said airport spokesman Jonathan Dean. When it landed, the airport's fire and rescue department met it.

The two men were isolated and examined, said David Paulson, director of communications for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said they simply had too much to drink.

They did not have respiratory distress that is a symptom of swine flu, Paulson said.

They refused treatment, and they and the other passengers were allowed to leave the plane after being detained less than an hour.

Swine flu was said to have been a factor in more than 150 deaths and over 1,600 illnesses in Mexico. The number of confirmed cases in the United States climbed to 68 Tuesday, and federal officials warned that deaths were likely.

Paulson said contact information was collected from all the passengers, and they were given fact sheets detailing what they should do if they become ill.