NBC News and msnbc.com
updated 5/4/2009 6:04:02 PM ET 2009-05-04T22:04:02

Thirty-seven passengers and two flight attendants on an American Airlines flight were detained in Japan for several hours over concerns about swine flu.

The passengers and flight attendants from Flight 169, from Los Angeles, were taken to a quarantine facility near Narita Airport, the airline said. They were released overnight after tests revealed that an ill passenger was not contaminated with the new H1N1 influenza A strain, or swine flu.

American Airlines told NBC News that the ill passenger was a Japanese woman who was returning from a vacation in Las Vegas.

While several patients have tested positive for a different strain of the influenza A virus, Japan has yet to confirm any cases of swine flu. Japanese health officials are on the alert, however, because Japan is in one of its busiest travel periods of the year as the country celebrates the “Golden Week” of public holidays.

By Tom Costello of NBC News, Scott Friedman of NBC station KXAS in Dallas and Alex Johnson of msnbc.com.

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