This week, the CDC confirmed the “first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States.” An airline passenger, who was not exhibiting signs while onboard the aircraft, was flying from Liberia to Dallas and is currently being treated for the disease in Texas.
It is important to note that the Director of the CDC has stated "zero risk of transmission" on any flight on which the patient flew because he was not symptomatic until several days after his trip and was not contagious while he traveled. AFA’s Air Safety, Health and Security department continues to monitor the situation and will update you with any new developments.
Please continue to remain vigilant and monitor passengers before and during boarding, looking for symptoms of Ebola. Persons infected with the Ebola virus may exhibit symptoms such as a high fever, severe headache, nausea and/or abdominal pain. If you observe these symptoms, report any concerns of a potentially infectious passenger to the captain and follow the reporting procedures as outlined by your airline.
Additionally, all bodily fluids should be treated as if they are known to be contagious. If you believe you have been exposed to a virus or infectious disease, follow notification instructions as provided by your airline.
A U.S. Department of Transportation rule permits airlines to deny boarding to air travelers with serious contagious diseases that could spread during flight, including travelers with possible Ebola symptoms. This rule applies to all flights of U.S. airlines and to direct flights (no change of planes) to or from the United States by foreign airlines. Follow the procedures outlined by your airline to report concerns, which could initiate this rule based on the decision-making outlined by your airline.
As Flight Attendants, we all understand the risks associated with the role we have on the aircraft as First Responders. It is particularly important that during this time of heightened awareness, you are also protecting yourselves in addition to your passengers. AFA strongly urges all Flight Attendants to follow the guidance outlined by the CDC. Please be mindful that hand hygiene and other routine infection control measures should be followed at all times.
Please visit www.afacwa.org for the most up-to-date information.