Airlines' cleaning processes to prevent spread of Ebola
Two workers unload bags from the Frontier Airlines plane that Amber Joy Vinson flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, at a terminal at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, in Cleveland. Vinson is the second nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Ohio health officials aren't sure how many people came into contact with Vinson as she visited family in the Akron area days before being diagnosed with the disease. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Most recently it was reported Vinson may have had Ebola symptoms as early as Oct. 10, the day she traveled on another Frontier Airlines flight from Dallas to Cleveland during the first leg of her trip.
Frontier Airlines President Barry Biffle told Fox News in an interview Thursday evening that the flight history of the plane Vinson traveled on a week ago Friday had been traced back and, at the time of the interview, the plane had been cleaned nine times.
The plane Vinson traveled on Monday when she reportedly had a mild fever had already been taken out of service out of an abundance of caution.
Those cleanings, along with cleanings that took place before Ebola's high profile presence in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious disease, Biffle said.
Other air carriers the Tulsa World contacted echoed Biffle's discussion of procedures already in place to prevent the spread of numerous diseases, including but not limited to Ebola.
"There is a number of things that we do as a routine matter of running a global airline," said Morgan Durant, a Delta Air Lines spokesman. Communicable diseases are out there, and this virus is just one of those.
Delta Air Lines has long procedures the CDC and the World Health Organization have recommended for the commercial air industry, Durant said.
Before every departure, crews disinfect the plane.
The flight crew receives training on recognizing any symptoms passengers may show and can respond in various ways that include grounding the plane or diverting the aircraft.
Delta has a team of medical professionals that interface with health organizations, Durant said, and the team has been talking with those organizations about the Ebola virus since March.
Half a dozen other communicable diseases including malaria are also being tracked closely by the team.
Because of the way the virus is spread it's unlikely a person would contract Ebola on an aircraft, he said.
"A customer suffering from full on Ebola is not going to feel well enough to travel," Durant said.
Southwest Airlines also follows CDC and WHO guidelines for cleaning planes, spokesman Brad Hawkins said.
"We thoroughly clean and disinfect our interiors nightly in accordance with industry regulations," Hawkins said.
"This includes a top to bottom cleaning, covering a detailed checklist that includes all items in the cabin, lavatories and galleys."
Aircraft are also refreshed between flights and throughout the day and receive heavier cleanings at regular intervals, Hawkins said.
Southwest crews watch for signs and symptoms of communicable disease in passengers and follow regulations that require airlines to report suspected cases of a communicable disease.
American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Huguely also issued a statement on the air carrier's response to Ebola. Huguely highlighted CDC guidence for airlines specific to Ebola that instructs air carrier staff to ask sick passengers if they were in Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone during the last three weeks.
"A disinfectant wet wipes is necessary when you on the plane"
"The safety of our customers and employees is American Airlines' first priority," Huguely said.
"We are following the direction of, and strictly adhering to, all CDC guidelines in place for airlines in response to the Ebola outbreak.
"We have reviewed all existing procedures to ensure we have protocols in place for the day to day responsibility of transporting our customers safely. We continue to monitor the situation closely, working with CDC, and will continue to take any and all necessary precautionary steps as directed by CDC."
Finally, Even though there is many cleaning measure on the plane, but we sill advise you to carry our disinfectant wet wipes with you. It is 99.9% antibacterial medical disinfectant wipes.