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Researchers develop tool to assist areas of infectious disease outbreaks
Date:4/10/2013

n period for H1N1, for example, is about two days, but 78 and 91 per cent of at-risk travelers who flew out of Mexico in May 2009 finished their air travel within six and 12 hours respectively. Even the longest direct flights 17 hours to Tokyo and 20 hours to Shanghai would have taken less than one day.

Each year, more than 700 airlines transport more than 2.5 billion travelers between 4,000 airports. The chief of aviation medicine of the International Civil Aviation Organization said Dr. Khan's paper "will be very helpful as we continue to determine how to utilize resources to best protect the health of travelers and populations, while minimizing travel disruptions."

"Countries receiving travelers need to be confident that exit screening has been undertaken efficiently and it's a great help if communication channels have been established in advance of a public health event. ICAO, the WHO and others have been working together since 2006 to provide just this type of multi-sector/multi-stakeholder network through the Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation," said Dr. Tony Evans.

The paper does not recommend how passengers should be screened. Some airports, such as those in Hong Kong and Tokyo, routinely use thermal scanners to look for fever among all arriving travelers. In others, traveler questionnaires and direct visualization of travelers for signs of illness are used.


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Contact: Leslie Shepherd
shepherdl@smh.ca
416-864-6094
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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