MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis doctor is calling for airlines to make it easier for medical groups to bring bug spray to areas impacted by Zika virus.
The mosquito-transmitted virus has been linked to severe birth defects. More cases are spreading through countries in the Caribbean and South America.
Dr. Leslee Jaeger says an American Airlines ticket agent turned away a 30-pound box of repellent Saturday morning at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, saying it was a combustible substance.
Jaeger says the spray was going to help about 200 pregnant women in Haiti who do not otherwise have access to these potentially life-saving materials.
“I think it was just easier at the time when there were a lot of people waiting in line to say ‘No you can’t do it’ because it would have delayed everyone else,” Jaeger said. “So I can’t blame them, but it would have been nice to find another way.
U.S. law says individual travelers can bring 70 ounces of bug spray, as long as each container is no more than 16 ounces.
In a statement, the American Airlines said, “Because this passenger had packed the insect repellent in one box, it exceeded the required legal limit.”