Global commercial passenger airlines and travel health information regarding infection control and the prevention of infectious disease: What's in a website?

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Shaban, RZ
Sotomayor-Castillo, CF
Malik, J
Li, C
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2019
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Abstract

Background: Air travel has never been easier, cheaper or faster, with large volumes of people travelling around the world. These factors increase the risk of the spread of infectious diseases by air travel. Little is known, however, about the extent to which airlines provide information to passengers on infection control and measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. This study examined the websites of the global commercial passenger airlines to see if they contained information about infection control and prevention of infectious diseases and appraised the clinical usefulness of that information. Method: A cross-sectional text-based analysis of the 73 airline websites from the six global commercial passenger airline conglomerates was performed to identify information about infection control and prevention of infectious between July and August 2019. Results: Of the 73 airline websites, less than half (n = 35, 28.6%) contained information deemed useful for passengers. While there was a range of general health advice within the websites, there was limited information about infection control and preventing infectious diseases. A minority of websites contained information about vaccination status prior to travel, and to a lesser extent handwashing and hand hygiene, with very few including disease-specific advice or preventive measures. Conclusions: Airline websites are an underutilised source of information for infection control and the prevention of infectious diseases. Providing passengers with information on basic infection control and prevention measures may support the global efforts against the spread of infectious diseases.

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Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease

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This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version

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Clinical sciences

Health services and systems

Public health

Air travel

Infection prevention and control

Infectious diseases

Travel medicine

Travel-related illness

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Shaban, RZ; Sotomayor-Castillo, CF; Malik, J; Li, C, Global commercial passenger airlines and travel health information regarding infection control and the prevention of infectious disease: What's in a website?, Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 2019, pp. 101528-

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