Usefulness and applicability of infectious disease control measures in air travel: a review

Y L Huizer, C M Swaan, K C Leitmeyer, A Timen

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Air travel has opened up opportunities for world transportation, but has also increased infectious disease transmission and public health risks. To control disease spread, airlines and governments are able to implement control measures in air travel. This study inventories experiences and applicability of infectious disease control measures.

METHODS: A literature search was performed in PubMed, including studies between 1990 and 2013. Search terms included air travel terms and intervention terms. Interventions were scored according outcome, required resources, preparation, passenger inconvenience and passenger compliance.

RESULTS: Provision of information to travelers, isolation, health monitoring, hygiene measures and vector control reportedly prevent disease spread and are well applicable. Contact tracing can be supportive in controlling disease spread but depend on disease characteristics. Exit and entry screening, quarantine and travel restrictions are unlikely to be very effective in preventing disease spread, while implementation requires extensive resources or travel implications.

CONCLUSIONS: Control measures should focus on providing information towards travelers, isolation, health monitoring and hygiene measures. Appropriateness of measures depends on disease characteristics, and the required resources. As most studies analyze one type of measure in a particular situation, further research comparing the effectiveness of measures is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalTravel medicine and infectious disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Air Travel
  • Animals
  • Communicable Disease Control/standards
  • Contact Tracing
  • Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control
  • Disease Vectors
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Patient Isolation
  • Public Health
  • Quarantine
  • Transportation


Dive into the research topics of 'Usefulness and applicability of infectious disease control measures in air travel: a review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this