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In order to assist national public health authorities in the European Union to assess the risks associated with the transmission of infectious agents on board aircrafts, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control initiated in 2007 the RAGIDA project (Risk Assessment Guidance for Infectious Diseases transmitted on Aircraft). RAGIDA consists of two parts: the production of a systematic review and a series of disease-specific guidance documents. The systematic review covered over 3,700 peer-reviewed articles and grey literature for the following diseases: tuberculosis, influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), invasive meningococcal disease, measles, rubella, diphtheria, Ebola and Marburg haemorrhagic fevers, Lassa fever, smallpox and anthrax. In addition, general guidelines on risk assessment and management from international aviation boards and national and international public health agencies were systematically searched. Experts were interviewed on case-based events by standardised questionnaires. Disease-specific guidance documents on tuberculosis, SARS, meningococcal infections, measles, rubella, Ebola and Marburg haemorrhagic fevers, Lassa fever, smallpox and anthrax were the result of consultations of disease-specific expert panels. Factors that influence the risk assessment of infectious disease transmission on board aircrafts and decision making for contact tracing are outlined.


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