A carrier, also known as a gene carrier, is someone or another organism that carries the recessive (or faulty) gene for a specific genetic defect or mutation but generally does not show symptoms of this disease or exhibit that characteristic. Carriers are able to pass the defective gene on to their children, who in turn may still display the genetic disease but will do so at a much lower frequency than that of normal carriers. In most cases, carriers of genetic diseases are not themselves sick, but may produce offspring with diseases that they already possess, further increasing the likelihood of passing the defective gene. The carrier will pass this defective trait to each of his or her children; these children will become carriers themselves and so on. This process can continue indefinitely, though it is only through repeated crossing of parents that an extended family can be constructed. In humans, this process happens throughout the lifespan of a person, though exact numbers remain uncertain.
There are two types of genetic diseases: common carriers and rare carriers. A common carrier has one or more of the characteristics of a carrier but is not itself diseased. A rare carrier has one or more characteristics of a carrier but does not itself necessarily suffer from the disease associated with that character. There are also carriers who carry one or more characteristics of both common and rare carriers, but do not themselves have either condition. In these situations, they must follow the principles of genetics described above, and pass both characteristics to their offspring.
There are three main categories of Carrier. The first is public or common carrier status. This is the most common carrier; it normally originates in birth records and is publicly listed. As such, everyone born in the United States is automatically considered a common carrier. Public carriers must meet certain requirements, and must prove their ability to transport passengers, ensure their safety, and conform to federal regulations. Common carriers must follow specific guidelines established by the Federal Aviation Administration, such as safe carrier certification.
A second type of carrier is private carrier. A private carrier may only ship goods that are directly owned by the shipper, and are only eligible for non-stop transportation services within the state in which they reside. However, unlike a common carrier, a private carrier may also hire drivers to ensure efficient and timely delivery of goods. Private carriers must also adhere to specific laws set forth by their state.
The third type of carrier is charter carrier. A charter carrier can ship goods to passengers who have paid a particular fee, determined by the carrier, which represents a risk to the insured. Charter carriers can also arrange for other transportation services, and provide goods to passengers when requested. However, passengers who become ill or are otherwise unable to travel are excluded from receiving compensation under a charter carrier’s policy. If an insured individual uses a private carrier to transport goods when they become ill, then the person is not covered when they use a common carrier later.
Some common carriers have made some changes to their policies in order to better serve their customers. For example, in some cases a passenger who becomes ill, loses their baggage, or is otherwise unable to travel may be entitled to compensation. In addition to providing compensation for these circumstances, many common carriers offer discounts to frequent flyers and customers with multiple trips. Most carriers offer different options and benefits for their customers, so it is advised that one review the applicable policies before signing up for a service.