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Travel Med Infect Dis. 2010 Mar;8(2):90-5. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2009.11.003. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

The international health regulations (2005), tuberculosis and air travel.

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  • 1International Health Regulations Coordination Department, World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland. <>


In 2007, the World Health Organization's ("WHO") revised International Health Regulations (2005) ("IHR" or "Regulations") entered into force across the globe. The IHR contain a range of binding and advisory provisions for reporting, health measures, capacity-building and further procedures to address the risks of international disease spread in international travel, transport and trade. While the prior versions of the Regulations were limited to a short list of infectious diseases (which did not include tuberculosis), the revised IHR cover virtually all serious internationally transmissible disease risks, whether biological/infectious, chemical or radionuclear in origin, that meet certain criteria. These revised Regulations are now generally applicable to transnational tuberculosis ("TB") transmission, including through air travel. In light of the great numbers of persons undertaking international travel, the worldwide geographical coverage of the IHR, and the emergence of extremely drug resistant TB ("XDR TB"), these Regulations are an important element in addressing these (and other) serious international public health risks. This article describes the relevant provisions in the IHR, and their applicability in this context.

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