This is how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted in the cabin of an airplane

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A study published in the journal
Indoor Air
has simulated the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, on a flight from London to Hanoi and on another flight from Singapore to Hangzhou. The researchers found that by mimicking the spread of droplets of different sizes generated by activities such as coughing, talking, and breathing in an airline cabin by an infected person, the SARS-CoV-2 virus contained in those droplets traveled with cabin air distribution and was inhaled by other passengers.

The scientists counted the number of viral copies inhaled by each passenger to determine infection. Their method correctly predicted 84% of infected/uninfected cases on the first flight.

The team also discovered that wear masks and reduce the frequency of conversations among passengers could help reduce the risk of exposure on the second flight.

“We are very pleased to see that our model validated by experimental data can achieve such high accuracy in predicting the Covid-19 transmission in aircraft cabins. Also, it is important to know that wearing masks has a significant impact in reducing transmission,” says Dr. Dayi Lai, lead author of the study, Associate Professor, and Head of the Department of Architecture in the School of Design at Jiao Tong University. Shanghai, in China.

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