Bird Flu Alarm

Understanding Avian Influenza



This guidance is intended to assist airline flight crews in establishing appropriate precautions in the event they must interact with a person suspected of having avian influenza. Personnel should be aware of the symptoms of avian influenza. Although experience with human infection is limited, persons infected with avian influenza would likely have fever and respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath).

  1. Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if hands are not visibly soiled.
  2. Personnel should wear disposable gloves for direct contact with blood or body fluids of any passenger. However, gloves are not intended to replace proper hand hygiene. Immediately after activities involving contact with body fluids, gloves should be carefully removed and discarded and hands should be cleaned. Gloves must never be washed or reused.
  3. The CDC has developed specific guidance on the handling of sick passengers. (See

4. The CDC has stated that, the captain of an airliner bound for the United States is required by law to report the illness to the nearest U. S. Quarantine Station prior to arrival or as soon as illness is noted. Quarantine officials will arrange for appropriate medical assistance to be available when the airplane lands and will notify state and local health departments and the appropriate CDC Headquarters' officials.