SAS, airports introduce Ebola measures / News / The Foreigner

SAS, airports introduce Ebola measures. The Scandinavian carrier has established a plan in the event of any of their passengers becoming infected with the virus. SAS has no routes to African countries, but some flight connections may have incoming travellers from that continent. Trine Kromann-Mikkelsen, press spokesperson for SAS in Denmark told website checkin.dk that "we’ve established a task force to have a plan that can be activated immediately if something happens on SAS flights.”

ebola, airlines, travel



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SAS, airports introduce Ebola measures

Published on Friday, 17th October, 2014 at 07:40 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 17th October 2014 at 09:36.

The Scandinavian carrier has established a plan in the event of any of their passengers becoming infected with the virus.

Landing lights
Airports and airlines are implementing measures to ward off Ebola.Landing lights
Photo: Richard Hoare/Geograph.co.uk


SAS has no routes to African countries, but some flight connections may have incoming travellers from that continent.

Trine Kromann-Mikkelsen, press spokesperson for SAS in Denmark told website checkin.dk that "we’ve established a task force to have a plan that can be activated immediately if something happens on SAS flights.”

“We take it very seriously, because we want to ensure that our passengers have a safe experience when they travel with us."

Ms Kromann-Mikkelsen has said that effective procedures will be put in place in the event of a passenger exhibiting the symptoms. The airline’s taskforce will advise employees on what to do in the situation, both on board the plane and at the airport.

Precautions             

The US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published Ebola guidance for airlines.

It states that a Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) rule permits airlines to deny boarding to air travellers with serious contagious diseases with a risk of spreading during flight. This includes possible Ebola symptoms. 

Cabin crew are expected to follow the infection control precautions for sick travellers on board. The CDC will conduct an investigation to assess the risks, and inform both passengers and crew of possible exposure if a passenger is confirmed to have had Ebola.

It is described as “a serious, usually fatal, disease for which there are no licensed treatments or vaccines. But for people living in countries outside Africa, it continues to be a very low threat.”

However, the risk of spreading Ebola to passengers or crew on an aircraft is very low as the virus can only be spread by direct contact with infected body fluids, and does not spread through the air unlike the flu.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced in August that International airports in affected countries are advised to perform screenings on all passengers.

London’s Heathrow airport has begun to test passengers for signs of the disease. According to The New York Times, a second nurse from America became infected with Ebola. She had travelled on a commercial flight as part of a medical team to aid Ebola victims.

The CDC has set up a hotline “for passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1142 Dallas/Fort Worth to Cleveland on Oct. 10 and passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13 to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636),” they say.

“Well-functioning systems”

Norwegian health authorities are monitoring the situation and have issued travel advice for passengers, recommending them to avoid “all travels to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.”

They are following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) assessment and advice, even though the risk of infection in Norway is low.

“If a case should arise in Norway with a traveller who has been to an outbreak area, the person will be quickly followed up and there is little risk that the disease will spread further.”

“Norway has a high level of preparedness to deal with such a situation,” says the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s (NIPH) Dr. Siri Hauge at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency has authorised Oslo University Hospital to import unapproved medicines. This includes TKM-Ebola and Avigan, which were developed for flu pandemics.

This authorisation comes a female Norwegian aid worker was infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone and given the last remaining dose of Zmapp. Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are the hardest-hit countries in West Africa. There is major interest from Norwegian aid workers to travel to Sierra Leone to help.

Zmapp has been used on patients who survived in the US and Liberia, but the manufacturers have admitted that it will take months to make more of it.

The current outbreak of the virus is considered the worst in history. Ebola was discovered in 1976, and around 4,000 people have been killed since March this year.

“Norway has well-functioning systems to detect and monitor suspected cases of Ebola virus disease. Norway is also part of a global early warning system where Ebola cases are reported,” said Dr Siri Hauge at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.



Published on Friday, 17th October, 2014 at 07:40 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 17th October 2014 at 09:36.

This post has the following tags: ebola, airlines, travel.





  
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