Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

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veldmuis
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Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by veldmuis » 30 Jul 2014, 13:32

Some months ago, I read a Brussels Airlines quote about the ebola safety measures taken for its flights attendants (instructions on putting on gloves and a mask when approaching a potentially ill passenger).

I wonder, given that ebola is transmitted via contact with infected body fluids (including saliva, sneeze and even sweat), or with surfaces/objects contaminated by such fluids, whether the A330s' cabins (eg the seats, armrests, tray tables, IFE, etc) and toilets are cleaned 'more thoroughly than usual' after flights from West-Africa, and before those planes return to Africa or fly to the US ?

Anyone (eg working for Brussels Airlines) having a info on this issue ?

Background: see the (US CDC) guidance for airlines:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpa ... irline.pdf
Flown (as a pax): 282 flights, 112 airports, 56 airliner (sub)types, 52 airlines, 464300 km (status 2017) - see: http://openflights.org/user/veldege

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CTBke
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Re: ebola - cleaning of planes coming from West-Africa ?

Post by CTBke » 30 Jul 2014, 13:42

As time is money those days ... you'll figure out the answer yourself.. ;) besides they have to give an extra cleaning to the whole fleet as the pax not only travel on the A330 but on the eurofleet as well...
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HighInTheSky
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Re: ebola - cleaning of planes coming from West-Africa ?

Post by HighInTheSky » 30 Jul 2014, 14:21

The virus stays 'alive' for only a very short time outside its host. So as soon as an infected passenger has sneezed, the virus in his sneeze will only stay active for a few minutes. No risk for cleaning staff. However if I were them, I'd wear gloves, just to be able to work while feeling at ease.

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Re: ebola - cleaning of planes coming from West-Africa ?

Post by sn26567 » 31 Jul 2014, 20:24

The United States issues a travel warning for 3 African countries hit by Ebola outbreak. U.S. health officials are warning Americans not to travel to the three African countries: the travel advisory issued today (Thursday) applies to non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
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Re: ebola - cleaning of planes coming from West-Africa ?

Post by sn26567 » 01 Aug 2014, 12:55

IATA Statement on Ebola Outbreak

An Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak has been reported in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is coordinating closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with respect to potential implications for air connectivity.

WHO’s current risk assessment for travel and transport is not recommending any travel restrictions or the closure of borders at points of entry. Further, the WHO states that “The risk of a tourist or businessman/woman becoming infected with Ebola virus during a visit to the affected areas and developing disease after returning is extremely low, even if the visit included travel to the local areas from which primary cases have been reported. Transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animal, all unlikely exposures for the average traveler. Tourists are in any event advised to avoid all such contacts.

Similarly, WHO advises that transmission of the Ebola virus only occurs when patients are displaying symptoms of the disease which are severe. Symptoms of Ebola include fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat; followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and at advanced stage, both internal and external bleeding. It is highly unlikely that someone suffering such symptoms would feel well enough to travel.

In the rare event that a person infected with the Ebola virus was unknowingly transported by air, WHO advises that the risks to other passengers are low. None-the-less, WHO does advise public health authorities to carry out contact tracing in such instances.

In line with WHO guidance, awareness-raising activities initiatives are being conducted for travelers to and from the affected region. As always, passengers are advised not to travel if they are unwell. And any traveler developing symptoms of the Ebola within three weeks of returning from an affected region is advised to seek rapid medical attention.

The air transport industry has dealt with several outbreaks of communicable diseases in recent years. The global response to communicable diseases is governed by the WHO’s International Health Regulations. Airlines follow guidance material which has been developed by WHO, ICAO and IATA.

IATA will continue to monitor developments closely in the Ebola outbreak in close coordination with the WHO and ICAO.

IATA Press Release 31 July 2014
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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by sn26567 » 02 Aug 2014, 15:20

This Amazing Jet Will Transport Ebola Victims From Africa To The U.S.

How do you pack two patients that are infected with one of the world's deadliest viruses into a pressurized aluminum tube that is filled with healthy care takers and pilots for 12 hours and not get almost everyone infected in the process? You use this old ex-Royal Danish Air Force Gulfstream III that is highly modified to convey very ill people over very long distances.

Image

See full article with pictures: http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/this-a ... thardigree

This jet is currently above the Canary Islands on its way to the US
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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by sn26567 » 02 Aug 2014, 18:39

sn26567 wrote:This jet is currently above the Canary Islands on its way to the US
A US relief agency is repatriating two of its American staff who have contracted the virus in Liberia.

A flight carrying the first of the patients - Dr Kent Brantly - landed at and US Air Force base in Georgia at about 16:00 GMT.
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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by sn26567 » 04 Aug 2014, 18:03

For information only...

http://newsmonkey.be/article/17063

Filip Dewinter has a 'genius' plan against Ebola: "grounding all flights to West Africa"

Vlaams Belang leader Filip Dewinter demands that Brussels Airlines stops flying to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, three countries in West Africa where there is the Ebola virus.

The Vlaams Belang MP wrote a letter to Foreign Minister Didier Reynders to make his claim. "That Ebola virus is not a small thing any longer. It is now broken into urban areas in those countries. And Sabena (sic) flies to Conakry in Guinea, Freetown in Sierra Leone and Monrovia in Liberia. We must close the borders with these Ebola countries and make sure that there is no traffic from Zaventem to those countries".
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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by FlightMate » 05 Aug 2014, 07:12

I wish I had voted for him, then.

Other airlines (like EK) stopped flying there. But if there is more money to be made, that's when some other airlines will continue flying (if nit increase their frequencies)

But... safety first, right?

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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by regi » 05 Aug 2014, 12:53

sn26567 wrote:For information only...

http://newsmonkey.be/article/17063

Filip Dewinter has a 'genius' plan against Ebola: "grounding all flights to West Africa"

Vlaams Belang leader Filip Dewinter demands that Brussels Airlines stops flying to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, three countries in West Africa where there is the Ebola virus.

The Vlaams Belang MP wrote a letter to Foreign Minister Didier Reynders to make his claim. "That Ebola virus is not a small thing any longer. It is now broken into urban areas in those countries. And Sabena (sic) flies to Conakry in Guinea, Freetown in Sierra Leone and Monrovia in Liberia. We must close the borders with these Ebola countries and make sure that there is no traffic from Zaventem to those countries".
Hm,
health care is partially under regionnal responsability. So Flanders could take meassures to ensure that Ebola doesn't enter Flanders. Imho De Winter playded the wrong card here.
The airport is on Flemish soil, so responsability for Ebola containment in Flanders is not the responsability of federal minister Reynders.
If the special status of national entry point is an issue, Flanders could set up a check point at the exit to check people for Ebola.
So far for the theoretical BS.
I hope that in reality it will not come so far that we will have to install a quarrantain zone...

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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by sn26567 » 05 Aug 2014, 15:33

There are no reasons to ban flights from West African countries to Belgium.

There are enough rules in place to ensure that patients at risk do not board a plane, says the FPS Public Health about flights from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Staff of Brussels Airlines, which operates from Brussels Airport to the countries concerned, was also repeatedly informed. They were informed, as well as medical personnel at the airports, on how to handle passengers at risk.

The Supreme Council of Health has issued an opinion "regarding the identification and treatment of persons for which infection by Ebola or Marburg virus is possible, suspected or confirmed." The objective of these guidelines is to eliminate or reduce the risk of contamination of health personnel coming into contact with a contaminated person or his body fluids during his stay at the hospital.

http://www.lesoir.be/616793/article/act ... ers-belgiq
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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by airazurxtror » 05 Aug 2014, 16:34

sn26567 wrote: Vlaams Belang leader Filip Dewinter demands that Brussels Airlines stops flying to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, three countries in West Africa where there is the Ebola virus.
I think that Filip Dewinter is right : better safe than sorry.
Perhaps Brussels Airlines want subsidies for stopping those flights ? Bad luck, Wathelet is gone ...
IF IT AIN'T BOEING, I'M NOT GOING.

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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by RoMax » 05 Aug 2014, 17:17

airazurxtror wrote: I think that Filip Dewinter is right : better safe than sorry.
Perhaps Brussels Airlines want subsidies for stopping those flights ? Bad luck, Wathelet is gone ...
Most, except some African carriers (forced by their governments), airlines just keep flying, so it's not just SN.

Filip Dewinter his comment might seem to make sense in this situation, but he is just using Ebola as an excuse for a reduction in flights between Belgium and Africa.

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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by sn26567 » 05 Aug 2014, 17:18

IATA points out that, because the disease is not airborne, the risk of catching it from a fellow passenger is very low. An IATA spokesman points out that Ebola is not airborne and can only be spread through direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. “There has never been a case of contracting Ebola from being on a plane – it’s extremely unlikely,” he says.

The World Health Organization (WHO) – from which IATA takes its advice – has not recommended any Ebola-related travel restrictions or closure of borders, although possible passenger screening revisions are currently under review.

The official information from the WHO when it comes to the risk of catching Ebola on a flight is as follows: “There is a possibility that a person who had been exposed to Ebola virus and developed symptoms may board a commercial flight, or other mode of transport, without informing the transport company of his status. It is highly likely that such patients would seek immediate medical attention upon arrival, especially if well-informed, and then should be isolated to prevent further transmission. Although the risk to fellow travelers in such a situation is very low, contact tracing is recommended in such circumstances.”

Lufthansa chief financial officer Simone Menne, responding to a question about Ebola during the German airline’s recent first-half earnings conference call, said: “We are constantly monitoring the development of Ebola and we’re co-operating with authorities to make sure there is no risk within the Lufthansa group. We don’t see that there is a huge impact, but we are watching.”
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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by RoMax » 05 Aug 2014, 17:42

The way Ebola develops also makes it unlikely that (several) infected passengers get on an aircraft. When the disease really starts to develop, people get too sick to travel, and when they are infected very recently (and might travel because they do not realise yet they are infected with Ebola) they are not as contagious yet and with Ebola not spreading through air, the chances of infecting other passengers is very small.

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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by airazurxtror » 05 Aug 2014, 21:19

RoMax wrote: unlikely that (several) infected passengers get on an aircraft
the chances of infecting other passengers is very small.
Unlikely ... very small chance ... not truly heartening !
But one can understand SN : they pocket the profits on the tickets (and God knows they need it) whilst they won't have to pay the costs (of the possible sick people in Belgium).
IF IT AIN'T BOEING, I'M NOT GOING.

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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by nordikcam » 05 Aug 2014, 21:25

airazurxtror wrote:[But one can understand SN : they pocket the profits on the tickets (and God knows they need it) whilst they won't have to pay the costs (of the possible sick people in Belgium).
I'm tired ! We all know you want the death of SN ! Please sir, stop !

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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by FlightMate » 05 Aug 2014, 23:37

Sorry, but SN staff don't want to fly there anymore.
Yes, the risk is low (specially for you sitting behind your computer in Belgium), but there is a risk.
And that risk is multiplied by the number of times staff are required to stay or operate there.

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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by regi » 06 Aug 2014, 11:04

scenario:
a FA asks a written guarrantee from his employer that he can not get infected by Ebola by performing his job.
( just think about toilet, vomit, sneezing . But also overnight stay in the affected countries :!: )

So when a FA refuses to perform his work , it is normally breach of contract on his behalf, with serious financial repercussions. Except...who knows?

Nice legal stuff for lawyers...

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Re: Aviation and the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa

Post by FlightMate » 06 Aug 2014, 11:18

Oh, but SN staff get a repatriation contract.

That makes is safe, doesn't it?

Now BA stopped flying there, as well.

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