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Airlines Should 'Treat All Body Fluids as Though They Are Infectious': CDC Ebola Advisory

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A U.S. Department of Transportation rule permits airlines to deny boarding to air travelers with serious contagious diseases that could spread during flight, including travelers with possible Ebola symptoms.

Image source: AP/Seth Wenig, file

To combat the spread of the Ebola virus, airlines should treat all body fluids as though they are infectious, according to an update from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Image source: AP/Seth Wenig, file Image source: AP/Seth Wenig, file

The key points from the update:

  • A U.S. Department of Transportation rule permits airlines to deny boarding to air travelers with serious contagious diseases that could spread during flight, including travelers with possible Ebola symptoms. This rule applies to all flights of U.S. airlines, and to direct flights (no change of planes) to or from the United States by foreign airlines.
  • Cabin crew should follow routine infection control precautions for onboard sick travelers. If in-flight cleaning is needed, cabin crew should follow routine airline procedures using personal protective equipment available in the Universal Precautions Kit. If a traveler is confirmed to have had infectious Ebola on a flight, CDC will conduct an investigation to assess risk and inform passengers and crew of possible exposure.
  • Hand hygiene and other routine infection control measures should be followed.
  • Treat all body fluids as though they are infectious.

Dr. Jorge Rodriquez, a board certified internal medicine professional, told TheBlaze's Mike Opelka on Saturday that more precautions are needed to combat Ebola transmission on commuter flights.

Rodriquez said during the radio interview that every traveler entering the country should be tested; it was also noted that every month the risk of Ebola reaching the U.S. increases — in August the risk was 5% and jumped to 18% in September.

The CDC earlier in the week issued a preparedness “checklist” that recommends facilities begin reviewing their infection control policies and procedures now in an effort to combat Ebola.

This story has been updated.

(H/T: Washington Examiner)

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