A person with potentially infectious tuberculosis may be identified prior to a flight or it may become evident only after the plane has left. How the person is handled can significantly reduce the risk to others.



(1) The person should be moved away from other passengers.

(2) A single flight attendant should be detailed to attend to the passenger. Ideally this should be one who already has been exposed to the passenger.

(3) If masks are available then both the person and the attendant should wear one.

(4) If the passenger cannot wear a mask, then the person should use tissues to cough into and to collect expectorated sputum.

(5) Any material containing respiratory secretions should be collected into intact plastic bags that can be sealed.

(6) The flight attendant should wear plastic gloves if available.

(7) Any body fluids that contaminate the environment should be cleaned with dilute bleach or a tuberculocidal cleanser by a person wearing gloves. The waste should be placed into intact plastic bags that can be sealed.

(8) Both the passenger and attendant should wash their hands with soap and water.

(9) The passenger should deplane after all of the other passengers have left.

(10) The passenger should be immediately evaluated by a physician and managed accordingly.


The passenger should not be allowed to mix with other passengers or to leave the airport without an evaluation.


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