This why I have forbidden my daughter to fly during this pandemic.
Courtesy of WaPo:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated 1,600 cases of people who flew while at risk of spreading the coronavirus, identifying nearly 11,000 people who potentially were exposed to the virus on flights.
But though the agency says some of those travelers subsequently fell ill, in the face of incomplete contact tracing information and a virus that incubates over several days, it has not been able to confirm a case of transmission on a plane.
That does not mean it hasn’t happened, and recent scientific studies have documented likely cases of transmission on flights abroad.
“An absence of cases identified or reported is not evidence that there were no cases,” said Caitlin Shockey, a spokeswoman for the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.
“CDC is not able to definitively determine that potential cases were associated (or not) with exposure in the air cabin or through air travel given the numerous opportunities for potential exposure associated with the entire travel journey and widespread global distribution of the virus,” Shockey wrote in an email.
Okay, so maybe the CDC is not ready to identify any cases of infection on airplanes, but those infections have been identified by others.
Courtesy of the New York Post:
A single sickened airplane passenger spread coronavirus to 15 other people aboard a flight from London to Vietnam, according to a newly published study.
The passenger, identified as a 27-year-old businesswoman from Vietnam, had a sore throat and cough before boarding the March 1 flight and tested positive for coronavirus four days later, the study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases said.
By March 10, through contact tracing, health officials determined the woman infected 14 other passengers and one crew member aboard the plane, according to the study, which was recently published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The risk for on-board transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during long flights is real and has the potential to cause COVID-19 clusters of substantial size, even in business class-like settings with spacious seating arrangements well beyond the established distance used to define close contact on airplanes,” the study found.
At the time of the Vietnam Airlines flight, which had a total of 217 people aboard, face masks were not required on planes or at airports, the study said.
I have assumed since the very beginning that the worst place you can be is trapped in a plane with a bunch of strangers.
Why it has taken the CDC and others so long to make that same assertion confuses the hell out of me.
Here is an airborne disease and you are in a contained space for hours at a time breathing recirculated air.
It does not get more obvious than that.
The lesson here folks is don’t fly.
Seriously, do not fly.