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Interim Guidance for Airline Crew: Report Ill Travelers on Flights Arriving to the United States from China

This document provides interim guidance for the commercial airline industry about the avian influenza A (H7N9) virus. This virus generally only infects birds, but recently people in China have become infected with the H7N9 virus.

At this time, NO human-to-human transmission of H7N9 flu has been documented.  However, because this is a new virus in humans, CDC is following this situation closely. CDC is coordinating with domestic and international partners. 

Please report ill travelers from China to CDC. As a precaution, CDC recommends heightened reporting of ill travelers who are coming to the United States from China.  This is in addition to the Seasonal Flu Guidance CDC provides for commercial airlines.

CDC requests airline crews to notify CDC of any influenza-like illness (ILI) in a passenger or crew member. Please report as soon as possible—before arrival—by one of the methods described in the Guidance for Airlines on Reporting Onboard Deaths or Illnesses to CDC.

Report to CDC if the ill person:

  • feels warm to the touch, gives a history of feeling feverish, or has an actual measured temperature of 100° F (37.8° C) or higher, PLUS
  • has cough, sore throat, or difficulty breathing.

CDC Quarantine Station staff will obtain information about the ill traveler’s exposures and other risk factors for infection with the H7N9 virus. If necessary, CDC staff will coordinate transport to a medical facility for evaluation and testing. CDC will update the airline about the results of the testing and any need for follow-up or treatment of exposed crew members. 

More information about the H7N9 virus, general infection control guidelines for air industry, and seasonal flu guidance, can be found at:

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