Bird Flu Alarm

Understanding Avian Influenza

Management on Arrival

Management on Arrival

For Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and other personnel interacting with passengers arriving from areas with avian influenza, CDC does not recommend protective measures beyond those already in use for interacting with the general public.

As with other infectious illnesses, one of the most important preventive practices is careful and frequent handwashing. Cleaning hands with soap and water removes potentially infectious material from one's skin. Hands should be cleaned before preparing food, eating or touching one's face, and after handling soiled material (e.g., used tissues, lavatory surfaces), coughing or sneezing, and using the toilet. Waterless alcohol-based hand gels may be used when soap is not available and hands are not visibly soiled.

Personnel who have to detain or assist a passenger who appears to have a respiratory illness and who may have traveled from an area with avian influenza should try to keep the ill passenger separated from the other passengers as much as possible (3-6 feet), and should immediately contact the appropriate authorities, such as the U.S. Quarantine Station with local jurisdiction ( and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

While waiting for EMS or authorities to respond, provide the ill passenger with a gauze or paper surgical mask to reduce the number of droplets coughed into the air.

If a surgical mask is not available, provide tissues and ask the ill person to cover his or her mouth and nose when coughing and to put the used tissues into a waste basket or bag. If the ill passenger is unable to wear a surgical mask, personnel may wear surgical masks when in contact with the ill person (3 feet or closer).

Personnel should wear disposable gloves if touching blood or body fluids. 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 with soap and water or an alcohol based hand gel (if hands are not visibly soiled). Gloves should not be washed or reused.