Air travel became a particularly risky situation during the time when the new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was raging, causing an outbreak of Covid-19 acute respiratory infection.
There have not been any studies indicating the dangers or specific analysis of the spread of corona virus on aircraft. But a study done from the SARS pandemic may be well worth the reference.
Dr. Atul Gawande, CEO and author of many recent bestsellers, said the researchers sought an answer to the question in 2003, when the SARS epidemic hit many countries. world.
To confirm a series of related questions, the researchers looked at three flights with confirmed SARS cases in the passenger cabin.
The first flight was 90 minutes long, on a Boeing 777 carrying 315 passengers and 1 person with symptoms of SARS. No one on board the plane was infected.
Droplets released from a coughing spell quickly spread throughout the cabin. (Source: BI).
On the second flight, with a 3-hour journey on Boeing 737 aircraft and 120 passengers, 1 person with SARS symptoms was thought to have infected another 22.
As the diagram shows, passengers (and flight attendants) near patients, especially in a few front seats, appear to be at the highest risk. But the reality is that the number of ill people is high in the front or rear row of 'Patient No. 0'.
The third flight is another 90-minute journey by Boeing 777 aircraft, with 4 people with passenger cabin SARS symptoms. Of the 166 passengers on that flight who were selected for the interview, only one was confirmed to have SARS-like symptoms after the flight.
So what is the difference between flights? Why did the second plane become a 'disease journey' , while the first and third flights only caused one case of infection?
The researchers have not reached any specific conclusions on this issue. However, differences in the design of the Boeing 737 and 777 aircraft could be an important factor that has contributed to the incidence of infection in the confined space of the passenger compartment (the Boeing 777 is an aircraft. civilian size).
The flight of the second flight will last for 3 hours, twice the 90-minute journey of flights one and three, which is also likely to increase the probability of infection of patient No. 0.
Speaking to New Yorker magazine , Dr. Gawande noted that time spent in the same space as an infected person could make a big difference in the risk of corona virus transmission. According to a warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), caution should be exercised with exposure over a 15-minute period.
According to Dr. Gawande's observation of actual transmission situations, there are separate cases, in special times can make the infection process more dangerous than usual.
For example, in the case of Washington state, US in March, the "super-infection" case from a woman who had flu-like symptoms in a choir caused 52 others out of 60 members to be infected. sick.
Thus, in any case, until we have evidence to prove the opposite, the risk of infection in confined spaces, such as aircraft cabins, is real. And when certain factors are converged, the possibility that only one patient of zero can infect at least 22 others, such as on flight 2, is entirely possible.