CDC Death and Disease Reporting Tool for Cabin Crew

Follow your company’s procedures for getting medical assistance and informing your pilot in command about the death or ill traveler as soon as possible. Early reporting ensures prompt ground response to maximize timely care, reduce the risk for spreading disease, and minimize travel disruption.

The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations [42 CFR 70.11 and 71.21] contains requirements for reporting deaths and illnesses to CDC that occur on domestic flights between U.S. states and territories, and on international flights arriving to the United States.

Report to CDC all deaths or ill travelers with

Required by U.S. regulations

  1. Fever (has a measured temperature of 100.4 °F [38 °C]† or greater, or feels warm to the touch, or gives a history of feeling feverish) accompanied by one or more of the following:
    • skin rash
    • difficulty breathing
    • persistent cough
    • decreased consciousness or confusion of recent onset
    • new unexplained bruising or bleeding (without previous injury)
    • persistent diarrhea
    • persistent vomiting (other than air sickness)
    • headache with stiff neck, or
    • appears obviously unwell;
  2. Fever that has persisted for more than 48 hours
  3. Symptoms or other indications of communicable disease, as the CDC may announce through posting of a notice in the Federal Register.

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

Report information regarding illness or death to pilot in command

The pilot in command should report the following to the CDC:

[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

Please remember

  • Obtain information about the ill traveler and provide it to the pilot in command.
  • Notify your pilot in command right away— before arrival—so the ground response is ready upon your arrival.
  • Consult with CDC Port Health Station staff for evaluation of ill traveler and to receive recommendations regarding next steps.
  • Follow your airline’s own procedures for ill travelers with symptoms not included in the list above; e.g., heart or neurological problems.

See Guidance for Airlines on Reporting Onboard Deaths or Illnesses to CDC for more information about U.S. federal regulations.

NOTE: For arrivals outside the United States, the list of signs and symptoms used to identify a possible contagious disease may be found in ICAO Annex 9–Facilitation, Ch. 8, 8.15.

†Fever temperatures are rounded off as 100°F/38°C in  international guidance [PDF – 30 pages] .