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CDC Death and Disease Reporting Tool for Pilots

Updated October 15, 2014

CDC requests airline crews to ask sick travelers if they were in Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone in the last 21 days.

  1. If YES, AND they have any of these Ebola symptoms—fever, severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding—report immediately to CDC.
  2. If NO, follow routine procedures.

For U.S. Arrivals

This information is also available as a PDF: CDC Death and Disease Reporting Tool for Pilots [PDF - 2 pages]

Early reporting of potential contagious diseases ensures prompt ground response to maximize timely care, reduce the risk for spreading disease, and minimize travel disruption.

Per U.S. federal regulations for U.S. arrivals, report as soon as possible any onboard deaths or ill travelers (see symptoms below) on flights to or within the United States.

Report to CDC all deaths or ill travelers with

*Required by U.S. regulations

  1. Fever*
    (warm to the touch, history of feeling feverish, or measured temperature of 100.4⁰F/38⁰C or greater)
    reported to have lasted more than 48 hours; OR
  2. Fever* of any duration, AND one or more of these conditions:
    • Skin rash*
    • Swollen glands* (visible)
    • Jaundice* (yellowing of skin or eyes)
    • Persistent cough
    • Persistent vomiting
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Headache with stiff neck
    • Decreased consciousness
    • Unexplained bleeding
  3. Persistent diarrhea*

See “Definitions of symptoms for reportable illnesses” for signs and symptoms of contagious diseases.

How and what to report to CDC (international or interstate flights)

Your cabin crew should provide this information

[Same as ICAO document 4444, Procedures for Air Navigation Services – Air Traffic Management, Ch.16, 16.6]

  • Aircraft identification
  • Departure airport
  • Destination airport
  • Estimated time of arrival
  • Number of persons on board
  • Number of suspected cases(s) on board
  • Nature of the public health risk, if known

Mandatory for ICAO standards

For aircraft outside U.S. airspace or for U.S. destination
Report the above information to:
  1. Air Traffic Control (ATC)
    [This reporting option complies with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reporting requirement, ICAO document 4444 and Annex 9, Ch. 8, 8.15.]
    • Inform ATC your flight has an onboard death or suspected contagious illness that needs to be reported to CDC. If not under U.S. ATC, international Air Traffic Services will immediately forward the message to the ATC serving the destination airport in the United States.
    • ATC will notify the Federal Aviation Administration’s Domestic Events Network (DEN) of the report, using the code “…requests a CDC consult.”
    • The DEN will send the report to CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the EOC will notify the CDC Quarantine Station with jurisdiction for the arrival airport.
    • The CDC Quarantine Station will contact a designated airline point of contact (POC) to obtain necessary details of the death or illness. Also, the quarantine station will provide an update to the DEN via EOC about the response.

Optional for U.S. arrivals or interstate flights

[Meets U.S. federal regulations for reporting to CDC]

  1. Airline’s point of contact (e.g., Operations Center, Flight Control, Airline Station Manager)
    Provide to the point of contact the information collected by your cabin crew. The point of contact should contact the:

See Airlines Tool for more information about U.S. federal regulations and definitions of symptoms.

NOTE: For arrivals outside the United States, the list of signs and symptoms used to identify a possible contagious disease is somewhat different from those required to be notified to CDC on U.S. arrivals. Refer to ICAO Annex 9–Facilitation, Ch. 8, 8.15 for details).

†Fever temperatures are rounded off as 100°F/38°C in U.S. regulations and international guidance [PDF - 30 pages] for reporting purposes.