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Questions and Answers about Zika for the Airline Industry and Partners

Is there a risk of becoming infected with Zika during commercial air travel?

The risk of a person being infected with Zika during air travel is very low because few adult mosquitoes are found on board commercial flights. To date, there have been no documented cases of a person being infected with Zika during commercial air travel.

Is CDC preventing people with confirmed or suspected Zika infection from traveling on domestic or international flights?

No. There are no travel restrictions for people who may have Zika. Air crew should keep in mind that sick travelers from countries with Zika could have other infectious diseases and follow routine infection control precautions.

What should airline staff do if they suspect a traveler has symptoms of Zika? Is CDC requesting reports on travelers who may have Zika?

Airline staff should follow normal procedures for reporting in-flight illnesses according to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations [42 CFR 70.4 and 71.21(b)]. CDC is not requesting any additional reporting from airlines of sick travelers who may have Zika.

State and territorial health departments report probable and confirmed cases of Zika in their jurisdictions to CDC as part of domestic surveillance.

Is CDC conducting enhanced entry screening for travelers coming from countries and territories with Zika?

No. CDC is not conducting enhanced entry screening for travelers coming from areas with Zika. Because most people who have Zika do not have symptoms, entry screening will not work to prevent imported cases.

CDC’s travel notices for Zika include a recommendation that people traveling from areas with Zika take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks after arriving in the United States, even if they are not sick, to reduce the chance that they might spread the virus to local mosquitoes. Men who have been in an area with Zika should use condoms to protect their sex partners.

Does CDC require or recommend disinsection (spraying for mosquitoes) of aircraft arriving into the United States from areas with Zika?

No. CDC does not require or recommend disinsection of aircraft from areas with Zika. For more information visit the Zika vector control page.

Does CDC provide disinsection certificates for airlines to provide to foreign governments that require disinsection of aircraft arriving from areas with Zika?

No. CDC does not conduct disinsection, provide certificates of disinsection, or have access to a list of disinsection contractors or services.

How should airlines meet country-specific disinsection requirements?

Airlines should follow guidance from countries that require disinsection regarding the required delivery method and frequency. The aircraft captain should provide the ICAO General Aircraft Declaration to authorities at destination to declare that disinsection has been completed. Some countries may insist on having their own staff conduct disinsection.

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