The risk of infection while flying is low, but wearing a face mask is an important part of the layered approach to safety – even a 747 freighter is now showcasing the importance of covering up!
It is very hard to change someone’s opinion and unfortunately however hard airlines clarify that the environment on a modern airliner affords minimal risk of viral transmission many people will still continue to believe otherwise. Just like the many other so-called ‘old wives tales’ the supposed truth that dominates many opinions may have been based on historic stories or simply exaggerated and/or amended with inaccurate details.
Airlines have perhaps not been proactive previously at getting this message corrected. Why would they when aeroplanes were increasingly full. But a major global pandemic brings a revised view and has allowed them to now clarify that sitting on an aircraft does not mean you will be infected with every bug accompanying passengers are carrying.
In fact as the biggest global health crisis of modern times continues to dominate our daily lives airlines can now deliver strong evidence that there are very few cases of transmission, either to passengers or crews during air travel. As such it can really be defined that the risk of transmission while sat onboard a modern aircraft is rare.
There is also evidence to show that even on some long-haul, international repatriation flights where passengers either developed symptoms while onboard or were found to be positive for Covid-19 after they left the aircraft, there was no spread. In these cases contact tracing shows that no one else on those flights contracted the virus.
The air systems that many blamed for delivering a sniffly nose after returning on a long-haul flight are unknown to many actually delivering hospital-grade environments using HEPA filters that clean and refresh cabin air every three minutes and filter out some 95% or more of viruses, including the novel coronavirus. There are other factors at work in the cabin, among that – with the exception of modern business class cabins – most passengers are all facing forward, so seatbacks act as a natural barrier for transmission.
There are too many factors to mention, but just like personal precautions such washing our hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds, or avoiding touching our faces, a layered approach is an essential way of reducing the risk.
READ MORE via The Blue Swan Daily: The risk of infection while flying is low, but wearing a face mask is an important part of the layered approach to safety – even a 747 freighter is now showcasing the importance of covering up!