Coronavirus Can Spread In Airplanes Even With Masks
The study was published by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The study which was in the CDC Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases was carried out by scientists who were headed by Dr Sung Hwan Bae which used an evacuation flight from Milan to Seoul in March as its basis, Business Insider reports.
Before the said flight, 310 people were tested. Eleven of them that tested positive did not take the plane. The remaining 299 were given N95 masks as staff followed anti-Covid-19 safety procedures all through the flight.
Among those 299, six passengers who were asymptomatic patients were tested positive before the beginning of the flight. When the plane landed, all the passengers were quarantined for two weeks.
Afterwards, it was discovered a person who was negative before the flight tested positive. He was sitting three rows before the asymptomatic carriers and wore his mask all through except when he was eating or using the toilet. The carriers, however, also used the same restroom.
On the other hand, 18 crew members and Korean CDC staff who also self-isolated tested negative throughout the study.
The researchers then came to the conclusion that the new patient caught the virus while he was on the flight. What was not established was how the virus was transmitted.
It should be noted that the highly effective filters on airplanes which stops microbes from going around in the air make airborne transmission really difficult on a flight.
Despite the way airlines have put in tough measures against the spread of the disease, the study suggested that there is room for improvement as asymptomatic patients can contaminate surfaces or prove stubborn in following guidelines.
The study, therefore, said that masks must always be worn during the flight, constant hand hygiene must be enforced, and physical distancing maintained.