A recent study ... Spacing air passengers will not protect them from the transmission of Corona infection
Two studies released Friday showed that COVID-19 infection can transmit between long-distance air travelers on the same plane.
The first study spotted a young woman and her sister who were traveling through Europe at a time when the Corona virus appeared to be spreading there, as they visited Milan and Paris and headed to London, and when this woman boarded a plane at London airport, returning to her home country of Vietnam on the first of March, she was suffering from an infection in Throat and cough, but no one noticed.
When it landed from the plane in the capital, Hanoi, after a 10-hour flight, 15 people on board were injured, according to researchers.
This story is one of two published Friday that illustrate how the coronavirus can spread on airline flights, and suggests that just spacing people a little apart will not fully protect them.
In another incident, passengers of a flight from Boston to Hong Kong transmitted the infection to two flight attendants.
Both cases involved long flights early in the pandemic, before airlines began mandating the wearing of face masks.
A team from Vietnam traced a cluster of cases related to the flight of the Vietnamese woman, who arrived in Hanoi from London on March 2.
The expert at the National Institute of Health and Epidemiology in Hanoi, Nguyen Kong Khanh, and his colleagues wrote that this woman "is a 27-year-old businesswoman from Vietnam, whom we identified as a potential indicator case, who has been residing in London since early February."
"On February 22, the first case and her sister returned to Milan, Italy, and after that they traveled to the French capital, Paris, to attend the annual fashion week before returning to London on February 25," they wrote in the magazine "Emergence Infection Diseases".
At this time, the Corona virus began to spread rapidly in Italy, but cases were reported very little in Britain.
The woman then boarded her flight back to Hanoi on March 1.
"I sat in business class and continued to have a sore throat and cough throughout the flight," the researchers added.
Three days after landing at Hanoi airport, she went to hospital, and tested positive for the virus.
Health officials tracked down 217 passengers and crew who were with her, and found 12 of her companions in business class, two economy class passengers and one crew member.
Investigators said there was no other possible way any of the other 15 could be infected other than being exposed to the patient during the flight.
And they wrote that "the most likely route of transmission during the flight is the transmission of aerosols or droplets from case 1, especially for people who are sitting in business class."
"We conclude from this that the risk of SARS-Covid-2 transmission on board an aircraft during long-haul flights is certain and can cause infection in large groups, even in business class, where large distances exceeding the specified distance used to determine social distancing on airplanes," they add. »
The team added that "as long as" Covid-19 "represents a global epidemic threat in the absence of good arrangements at the point of care, better infection prevention measures and screening procedures are needed to make flying safe.
In the second incident, a married couple flew from Boston to Hong Kong in business class on March 9.
Both of them showed symptoms of infection after their arrival and were diagnosed with the Coronavirus.
After tracing their contacts, two flight attendants were discovered to be infected.
Deborah Watson, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and her colleagues wrote in a second report in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "The only location the four people had been in close proximity for a long time was inside the plane."
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