Air Transport & Communicable Diseases
Communicable diseases, particularly those with the potential of becoming public health emergencies of international concern, have important implications for airlines and their customers. A primary goal of IATA in any such event is to ensure a timely flow of accurate information to its members, the traveling public and the industry as a whole.
Measels is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific
and Africa. Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting
infected when traveling internationally.
For more information, please see the WHO advisory on Measles.
Ebola update in DRC
On 17 July, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that the
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in line with the
International Health Regulations (IHR). There have now been a total
of 2500 EVD cases reported with an overall
case fatality ratio of two-thirds. WHO's
current risk assessment for travel and transport is not recommending any
travel restrictions or entry screening at airports. IATA published a statement on 18 July.
For more information,
please see the WHO update on Ebola in DRC.
Working with WHO
IATA works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), the global authority on public health emergencies, on a range of public health issues. For example, see the WHO Guide on Hygiene and Sanitation in Aviation (pdf) and the guidelines for TB prevention and control.
Working with National Public Health Authorities
IATA also cooperates with national authorities. In association with ICAO, IATA contributed to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Infection Control Guidelines for Cabin Crew Members on Commercial Aircraft.
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.