Risk of COVID-19 During Air Travel

In this article from the JAMA Network, Dr Pombal examines the risk of contracting COVID-19 on an airplane and the steps airlines are taking to reduce that risk. Research suggests that air circulation and filtration in planes may make air travel safer than other places like offices and classrooms.

The airflow in current jet airliners is much faster than normal indoor buildings. Half of it is fresh air from outside, the other half is recycled through HEPA filters of the same type used in operating rooms. Any remaining risk to be managed is from contact with other passengers who might be infectious. Seat backs provide a partial physical barrier, and most people remain relatively still, with little face-to-face contact.

While it is unclear whether these safety features completely mitigate the risk involved with passenger proximity, the number of suspected and confirmed cases of in-flight COVID-19 transmission between passengers around the world appears small.

Read the full article

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