TIME Aviation

Airlines Get Guidelines on Handling Ebola

Medical staff take a blood sample from a suspected Ebola patient at the government hospital in Kenema
Tommy Trenchard—Reuters Medical staff take a blood sample from a suspected Ebola patient at the government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, on July 10, 2014

The CDC says anyone who may have been exposed to the virus should not board a commercial flight until they have undergone 21 days of monitoring

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines for airline personnel on how to handle travelers who may have Ebola virus. The recommendations follow international efforts to contain an outbreak of the disease that has killed more than 800 people in West Africa.

If a passenger is suspected to have Ebola during a flight, the CDC says they should be separated from other travelers and that cabin crew must wear disposable gloves if there is a possibility of contact with that person’s bodily fluids.

Airline captains are required by law to report to the CDC any individuals suspected of carrying the Ebola virus before landing in the U.S.

The center also urged travelers who may have been exposed to Ebola to seek clearance from a doctor before traveling abroad.

“People who have been exposed to Ebola virus disease should not travel on commercial airplanes until there is a period of monitoring for symptoms of illness lasting 21 days after exposure. Sick travelers should delay travel until cleared to travel by a doctor or public health authority,” said the CDC in its statement.

Cabin-cleaning staff have also been advised to take extra precautions.

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