Communicable diseases and pandemics have important implications for airlines and their customers. On this page you will find resources for airlines and other travel professionals medical crews. 

COVID-19

IATA continues to monitor developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) Secretariat, ICAO and the US Centers for Disease Control.

Status: COVID-19: Air Travel, Public Health Measures and Risk: A Brief Summary of Current Medical Evidence (pdf)

Other Communicable Diseases

Monkeypox

This viral infection is normally rare outside the endemic areas of Central and West Africa, but in May 2022 an atypically high number of cases were identified in other countries, mostly with no history of relevant travel. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) notes: “Monkeypox (MPX) does not spread easily between people. Human-to-human transmission occurs through close contact with infectious material from skin lesions of an infected person, through respiratory droplets in prolonged face-to-face contact, and through fomites.” There are currently no restrictions to travel in relation with Monkeypox.

Acute Hepatitis

As of May 2022, a number of cases of unexplained childhood hepatitis have been reported to WHO, in a range of different countries, particularly in the European region. These continue to be monitored and investigated by public health authorities. There are no restrictions to travel in relation with acute hepatitis.

Measles 

Over the past year, over 20 measles outbreaks have been recorded worldwide, partially due to disruption of vaccination campaigns by COVID-19. Cases are almost 80% higher in 2022 than last year, particularly in Africa and Southwest Asia. Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting infected when traveling internationally.

Ebola

There have been separate outbreaks of Ebola virus disease since February 2021 in both Democratic Republic of the Congo (North Kivu province) and in Equatorial Guinea. For now, this situation doesn’t impact international air travel.

Emergency response

Based on the experience with different outbreaks, IATA has produced an Emergency Response Plan and Action Checklist (pdf), for use by air carriers in the event of a public health emergency.​​

An important part of this plan involves a series of guidelines and best practices for airline staff in the event of public health emergencies.