After analyzing the case of two international flights in which at least 18 people were infected by passengers sick with COVID-19, two investigations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States (CDC) indicate that the coronavirus can be spread during flights.
“Although the international flight industry has judged the risk of in-flight transmission to be very low, long flights in particular have become a matter of growing concern as many countries have begun to lift flight restrictions despite the continuous transmission of SARS-CoV-2 ″, specify the investigations published in the Emerging Infectious Diseases of the CDC.
One of the investigated cases is that of a 27-year-old Vietnamese businesswoman who traveled to Italy with her sister on February 18, 2020, then moved to Paris and then spent a few days in London. Eleven days later, she began to experience a sore throat and cough while continuing her social life. On March 1, he took a flight to Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, where he sought medical attention. Laboratory tests confirmed that she was suffering from COVID-19 and her sister as well.
Investigators were able to locate 100 percent of the Hanoi flight crew and 84 percent of the passengers; the remaining 16 percent had already moved to other countries. Of the travelers located, 16 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 with ages ranging from 30 to 74 years.
The other investigation
A second case of COVID-19 transmission on long flights looks at the trajectory of a Hong Kong married couple who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on March 15. Before the flight and within the 14-day incubation period, they visited Toronto, Canada (February 15 to March 2), New York (March 2 to 5) and Boston (March 5 to 9).
The couple allegedly infected two flight attendants who attended them and the investigators could not “quantify the rate of virus attacks on this flight because not all passengers were evaluated.”