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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
December 17, 2008

Federal Air Travel Restrictions for Public Health Purposes—United States, June 2007-May 2008

JAMA. 2008;300(23):2720-2722. doi:10.1001/jama.300.23.2720

MMWR. 2008;57:1009-1012

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Persons with communicable diseases who travel on commercial aircraft can pose a risk for infection to the traveling public.1,2 In June 2007, federal agencies developed a public health Do Not Board (DNB) list, enabling domestic and international public health officials to request that persons with communicable diseases who meet specific criteria and pose a serious threat to the public be restricted from boarding commercial aircraft departing from or arriving in the United States. The public health DNB list is managed by CDC and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). To describe the experience with the public health DNB list since its inception, CDC analyzed data from June 2007 to May 2008. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that CDC received requests for inclusion of 42 persons on the public health DNB list, all with suspected or confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). From the requests, 33 (79%) persons were included on the list. The public health DNB list enables public health officials to prevent travel on commercial aircraft by persons who pose a risk for infection to other travelers. State and local health departments in the United States and other countries should be aware of this new public health tool.