Covid-19: risk of infection in an airplane would be low according to new study

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The risk of contamination by Covid-19 in an airplane would be low, according to a study published in the American journal JAMA Network Open.

Two proven cases of contamination for 102 passengers. According to the results of a study published in the American journal JAMA Network Open, the risk of contamination by the novel coronavirus in an airplane is low.

To reach this conclusion, virologists studied the case of a flight, lasting 4.5 hours from Israel to Frankfurt, in March. The passengers were not masked at that time. On board this flight, a group of 24 people had been in contact in a hotel with an infected person before boarding. Contacted by the German authorities, the tourists in question were tested and 7 of them tested positive for Covid-19.

Four to five weeks later, researchers contacted the remaining 78 passengers. 90% of them responded to their request. They studied the contacts between passengers, the symptoms of the latter and tested several of them. 2 were found to be most likely contaminated, they were located across the aisle from the original cases.

Virologists generally consider that the contamination zones correspond to the two rows in front and behind the person infected with a respiratory virus. In this case, however, one person seated in the row of two infected tourists was not infected, as were two passengers seated behind another infected person.

As all the passengers have not been tested, there could have been more cases but this study confirms in any case a possibility of contamination in an aircraft in the absence of a mask but that the rate is lower than expected.

Previous studies of repatriation flights from Wuhan in China, the focus of the epidemic, had established the absence of contamination. The though passengers had worn a mask.

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