Is it Safe To Fly?

Angie SzumlinskiAnnouncements, Studies

There has been a lot of controversy over whether it is safe to fly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Granted, there are people who, due to work situations, family emergencies, etc., might not have a choice on whether they fly or not while others have chosen to stay on the ground, avoiding the risk of infection that may be spread in airplanes.

A Medscape article by Noah Y. Kim outlines a few things to remember about flying, such as the fact that airlines are frequently equipped with HEPA filters the Centers for Disease Control-recommended air filters used in hospital isolation rooms. HEPA filters capture 99.97% of airborne particles and substantially reduce the risk of viral spread. In addition, the air in plane cabins is completely changed over 10 to 12 times per hour, raising the air quality above that of a normal building.

Richard Corsi, who studies indoor air pollution and is the dean of engineering at Portland State University, says “the greatest risk in flight would be if you happen to draw the short straw and sit next to or in front, behind or across the aisle from an infection”.

All in all, it’s too early to determine how much person-to-person transmission has occurred on plane flights. Julian Tang, an honorary associate professor in the Department of Respiratory Sciences at the University of Leicester in England said he is aware of several clusters of infection related to air travel. However, it is challenging to prove that people have caught the virus on a flight.

To read the article please click the link here, stay well, stay safe, and stay tuned!