In 1933, 23 countries, including Austria and Australia, Syria and SA, signed the International Sanitary Convention for Aerial Navigation to deal with plague, cholera, yellow fever, typhus and smallpox. Before departure from infected areas, planes were to be cleaned, crew and passengers inspected and anyone showing symptoms, as well as “persons in close relations with the sick”, excluded. Any rats on board would be exterminated.

If during a flight a smallpox case was discovered, the sick passenger and those who might have been exposed to them were to be quarantined on arrival. There were exceptions for those with proof of a previous attack of smallpox or a vaccination “within less than three years and more than 12 days”.

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