The person next to you on-board your flight is sick and vomiting. What do you do? What does the flight crew do?
Perhaps they die… Yikes! What happens when an airline passenger dies?
It depends on the airline and the severity of the illness. I’ve been on flights with sick people and nothing happened, even when the person was vomiting. But some flights are quarantined when a passenger is ill or suspected of carrying a contagious disease.
Typically it’s a simple notification of the event to the local air traffic controller, who will contact authorities so everyone can be prepared to respond once the plane arrives at it’s destination. Although, the rules on this may change. The CDC would like mandatory reporting of all “unwell” passenger incidents and the ability to subject unwell passengers to possible screening.
Even with the relatively recent Ebola scare, I think airlines and the CDC seem to rush things along fairly quickly. Which was a surprise to me when I researched it for Dead Apocalypse. For example, a flight from Brussels suspected of having a passenger infected with Ebola was held for less than two hours.
A monkeypox scare led to a mere two hour quarantine.
When 12 passengers were ill on a flight from Fiji to Los Angeles, it took less than a half hour to clear the passengers. Apparently, they had all stayed at the same hotel and showed signs of norovirus.
So, if the CDC only holds a flight for less than 2 hours due to a known and deadly contagious disease, what would they do when it’s a disease that’s new and undetectable by traditional tests like Necrose-7A in my book Dead Apocalypse?
Answer: Not much.
Image Source: Syuzo Tsushima