The Port Authority says the CDC took the temperatures of the sick passengers, finding it was likely a massive case of the flu. "Isn't it your obligation to solve it?" one Twitter user wrote.
It's understood around 10 travellers are ill on the plane, which landed around 9.15am local time. The other nine refused medical attention. Images of the plane shared by media and Twitter users show it in a standing area, away from any terminal, surrounded by ambulances and police.
Ultimately, 19 people were deemed "sick", according to Eric Phillips, press secretary for New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.More news: White House: Iran, Russia Gear Up for Mass Strike in Syria
Flight started in Dubai and stopped in Mecca, which is experiencing a flu outbreak. After filling out a few forms and undergoing several health checks, some passengers were allowed to continue with their travel plans, although others were held for further evaluation.
Emirates said in a statement Wednesday that three passengers and seven crew members were taken to a hospital for medical care and evaluation. The airline said the remaining passengers would disembark shortly after what the mayor's office described as a quarantine.
Local media is reporting that officials from the Port Authority Police Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are on scene but did not immediately respond to requests for comment.