CDC Death and Disease Reporting Tool for Pilots

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

Per U.S. federal regulations for U.S. arrivals, report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 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 (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;


  1. Fever that has persisted for more than 48 hours


  1. 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.

Please note: Consult as needed with CDC Port Health Station staff for help to evaluate ill travelers, provide recommendations, and answer questions about reporting requirements. Reporting to CDC does not replace usual company procedures for in-flight medical consultation or obtaining medical assistance.

What to report to CDC (international or interstate flights)

The pilot in command should report the following:

[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

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 Port Health Station with jurisdiction for the arrival airport.
  • The CDC Port Health Station will contact a designated airline point of contact (POC) to obtain necessary details of the death or illness. Also, the port health station will provide an update to the DEN via EOC about the response.


  1. Airline’s point of contact (e.g., Operations Center, Flight Control, Airline Station Manager)
    [Meets U.S. federal regulations for reporting to CDC]
    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 international guidance [PDF – 30 pages]