To prevent the further spread of measles, public health officials have threatened to place certain individuals on an air-travel ban.
Eight People Prevented From Flying
Eight people believed to be infected with measles and have plans to travel have been warned by state and local health officials that a federal regulation could prevent them from boarding planes.
Martin Cetron, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, said that the agency runs a Do Not Board List, which prevents a sick person from flying. They have been contacted by health officials in New York, California, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Washington about the potentially contagious individuals.
The Washington Post reported that all eight have agreed to cancel their flights.
Fly Ban For People Infected With Measles
The Do Not Board List has been in place since 2007. According to CNN, it was previously used to prevent patients with tuberculosis from boarding a plane. Twice, it was used for measles.
The measure is usually a last-ditch effort to prevent sick and infectious passengers from traveling on a plane. To put a person's name on the list, the state or local health official must contact CDC. The agency will then verify if enough efforts have been made to dissuade the patient from traveling.
The CDC will contact the Department of Homeland Security to add the person on the Do Not Board List. Airlines will then refuse to issue a boarding pass.
Cetron said that the Do Not Board List is an effective deterrent.
"Ninety-something percent of the time, when we inform people we want them to change their mind and we can tell the airline not to issue a boarding pass, they change their mind," he stated.
The New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene has confirmed to CNN that they have communicated with two individuals who are not immune to measles about not flying for 21 days after they were exposed to the virus. Both have been cooperative so far. The department clarified that no one has been placed in the Do Not Board List.
New York has one of the worst outbreak of measles in the United States. According to the recent data from the CDC, since Jan. 1, 880 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 24 states, of which more than 630 are from New York.
The authorities reiterated that vaccination is the most effective way to protect one's self from measles.