Written by Staff Writer
Health experts have suggested that air travel might be linked to an increase in allergic throat infections , although the exact extent to which this is connected to air travel remains unclear.
Of course, global outbreaks of these respiratory tract infections, called rhinoviruses, are not limited to Asia. There has even been an outbreak of H1N1 influenza, similar to the 2009-2010 swine flu pandemic, in Cambodia, though the case fatality rate has been lower than with the normal seasonal flu.
Singapore Airlines announced on December 17 that it would require its international and cargo flights to include a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis A vaccination certificate. The airline’s announcement stated that “it had become clear that there is no consistent public health requirement around the world to require airline passengers to be vaccinated against HIV and hepatitis A.”
New techniques at the World Health Organization demonstrate how people can be immunized with short courses of injectable protein components, which are easier to administer than traditional vaccinations such as injectable vaccine based on shot thymus cells (popularized by GlaxoSmithKline with shots Simponi and Mevacor).
Singapore Airlines executive managing director Yusof Ishak said of the airline’s new mandatory policy that “it is about health and safety, and protecting the health and safety of our passengers.”
The airline’s policy is similar to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s move toward vaccination requirements for passengers on flights originating from US-owned, -manned and -managed airports, and the UK’s government guidelines for travelers to the Zika region. A similar approach is already used by Singapore Airlines in Australia , though no travelers have reported cases of the virus on that route.