Airlines should alert passengers about public health concerns

Their recommendation comes as health authorities on the east coast issued measles alerts last week after a spate of cases in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, including two passengers with measles who travelled on domestic flights in August (MO 29 August, 2013).

The Victorian department of health has advised that 15  measles cases have been detected in Victoria since early August.

Writing in the MJA, the Queensland experts responded to an Australian study published earlier this year which showed secondary measles infections occurred on 20% of international flights and contact tracing was ineffective, with only a third of flight manifests available to health authorities within five days of travel.

Associate Professor Stephen Lambert, a medical epidemiologist from the Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute and Dr Frank Beard from the Communicable Diseases Unit at Queensland Health, said airlines had a duty of care to