Chinese authorities have quarantined New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and his wife in a Shanghai hotel after a passenger on their flight exhibited flu-like symptoms.
Nagin’s office said the couple and a security guard were quarantined Sunday as a precaution and were exhibiting no swine flu symptoms.
Nagin’s spokeswoman Ceeon Quiett said the three are “being treated with utmost courtesy by Chinese officials,” The Times-Picayunenewspaper reported Monday.
Nagin “is feeling well and continues to be in communication with his staff,” according to Quiett. She did not know how long they would be quarantined.
Nagin left Friday for an economic development trip. He was to travel next to Australia, where he’d planned to speak on climate change and sustainable building.
China has been enforcing quarantines and temperature checks at airports throughout the country to prevent the virus from spreading.
The World Health Organization said it has spread to 69 countries and infected nearly 22,000 people. Most of the cases have been mild, although 126 people have died as a result of the disease.
Quiett said a passenger on Nagin’s flight to China had “signs and symptoms of an influenza-like illness suspected to be of the H1N1 subtype.” People sitting near that passenger on the flight from Newark, N.J., were quarantined. There was no word on what flight it was or how many people were aboard.
Quiett said Nagin and his wife have not been tested for swine flu.
Three other city employees on the trip were not sitting close enough to the passenger to be quarantined, Quiett said. They were the deputy head of the press office, James Ross, Nagin’s economic development director, Ernest Gethers, and Director of International Affairs Lisa Ponce de Leon.