Singapore Airlines plans to screen all cabin crew members for diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) and it will also consider putting them through drug and blood tests after coming into contact with passengers with fever, “the skin condition caused by the flu virus,” the AFP reports.
Singapore Airlines does not currently carry passengers who have flunked a fever test but that will change in the coming months. The move to test crews comes after authorities from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, the Philippines, South Africa, France, and Tanzania in recent months have banned air travel with fever-positive passengers due to fears of a Zika virus outbreak in the region.
TB is spread by coughing and sneezing.
A lack of vaccine for influenza, the seasonal cousin of the current Zika, may be an added reason airlines are increasingly ratcheting up precautions.
Travelers traveling to Singapore with fever should remain in their hotel rooms or cancel the flight, said Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to CBS. “The treatment for the flu is over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and over-the-counter vitamin C,” he said. “In flu season you usually recover fine from flu.”