Monday, December 20, 2010

TB infected passengers evade TSA's Do Not Board list


"Our job is to protect the passengers from bombs, nail clippers and KY Jelly, not from infectious diseases that can kill an entire plane on a future date!"

The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) has created the "Do Not Board" list to prevent persons with infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, from transmitting the airborne infection through the recirculating air of an aircraft's cabin. CDC in turn notifies TSA of any additions to the list.

Monitoring that list used to be the airline's responsibility. It was up to individual carriers to deny a boarding pass to any passenger whose name was on the Do Not Board list. It seemed like an easy task, with only 32 people currently on the list, all with drug resistant strains of TB.

However, according to a report on WTSP Ten News in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Friday, December 17, 2010, three persons who were on the list managed to escape detection, board an aircraft, and fly to their ticketed destinations.

Of the three who the list did not stop, neither the CDC nor the TSA would give the dates the people traveled, what cities they flew between or what airlines were involved.

TB patients have been a focus of the list because the disease can be spread by coughing. Transmitting it during a long flight, although rare, has happened in the past.


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