CDC Death and Disease Reporting Tool for Pilots
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Report as soon as possible any onboard deaths or ill travelers on flights to or within the United States. Early reporting ensures prompt ground response to maximize timely care, reduce the risk for spreading disease, and minimize travel disruption.
You are required by law to notify CDC of all deaths or arriving ill travelers with
- Fever (warm to the touch, history of feeling feverish, or measured temperature of 100°F/37.8°C or greater) reported to have lasted more than 48 hours; OR
- Fever of any duration, AND one or more of these conditions:
- Skin rash
- Swollen glands
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes), OR
- Persistent diarrhea
You are requested by CDC to report arriving ill travelers with
Fever of any duration, AND one or more of these conditions:
- Persistent cough
- Persistent vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Headache with stiff neck
- Decreased consciousness
- Unexplained bleeding
For details, see Definitions of Symptoms for Reportable Illnesses.
Your cabin crew should provide this information
- Ill traveler’s name and age (indicate passenger or crew)
- Seat number or work area
- City of departure and countries visited on this trip
- Symptoms that brought the ill traveler to your attention.
How to report to CDC (international or interstate flights)
Use the steps shown below. For arriving international flights, report to CDC. For interstate flights, report to CDC (or local health authority). CDC will then notify the local health authority in accordance with the regulations. Either of these two options meets federal regulations for reporting to CDC:
- Air Traffic Services (ATS) if in international airspace or Air Traffic Control (ATC) if in U.S. airspace [This reporting option also complies with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reporting standard, ICAO document 4444 and Annex 9 of the Chicago Convention.]
Inform ATS/ATC your flight has an onboard death or suspected contagious illness that needs to be reported to CDC.
- If not under U.S. Air Traffic Control (ATC), the international ATS 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.
- Airline’s POC (e.g., Operations Center, Flight Control, Airline Station Manager)
Provide to the POC the information collected by your cabin crew. The POC should contact the:
- CDC Quarantine Station at or closest to the airport where you are arriving OR
- CDC EOC (770.488.7100), who will then notify the appropriate CDC Quarantine Station.
See Airlines Tool for more information about U.S. federal regulations.
- Page last reviewed: May 23, 2014
- Page last updated: May 23, 2014
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