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Old 01-12-2020, 02:28   #1
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Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

This: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/11/20-3299_article

One infected passenger in business class apparently infected almost the whole business class section, on a long haul flight to Vietnam.

The index case was symptomatic, coughing, and not wearing a mask during the flight.

I have been flying a LOT since borders reopened in May -- average couple of times a week I guess. I have not felt unsafe -- everyone is masked, and I've never seen a person with a cough on board. Planes are not full so I'm usually able to sit fairly well separated from other passengers.

This study does give one pause however. I'm kind of surprised at how far away people were infected, in the studied case. A couple of meters of separation doesn't do the trick, in the absence of masking, anyway. I had thought that the ventilation systems on planes would greatly reduce the spread of airborne viruses; guess not.
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:39   #2
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

Thermal Cameras didn't pick it up?

I read somewhere you are also more likely to catch it if sitting next to the aisle because on a 10 hour flight he probably got up a few times. Flight attendants can also carry it around.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:09   #3
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

Interesting. Alan Joyce (QANTAS CEO) was on the media the other day sprouting on about how aircraft travel was more Covid safe than other travel. Of course, he might be biassed .

IIRC, the thrust of his argument was having the air vent open above each passenger directs the air flow downwards over each passenger and then the air is exhausted from near floor level. The volume of clean air introduced from outside has been increased on QANTAS aircraft.

I dunno the truth of this but he seemed convinced!

He is also on record for saying the all QANTAS international passengers would need to vaccinated if/when a vaccine becomes widely available.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:12   #4
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yihang View Post
Thermal Cameras didn't pick it up?

I read somewhere you are also more likely to catch it if sitting next to the aisle because on a 10 hour flight he probably got up a few times. Flight attendants can also carry it around.

The studied case was back in February, so no masks and no thermal cameras.


I guess flying has become much safer since then.


We haven't really talked about thermal cameras, but it seems to me that this is a really excellent measure. We still have restaurants open in most of our region (everywhere except Latvia and Lithuania), and thermal cameras are now being widely used to screen guests as they enter the establishment. Seems really sensible to me -- I think I've read that symptomatic cases (which would imply detectible temperature) are far more infectious than unsymptomatic ones. Especially if someone is coughing.


Even lower cost and even less intrusive than masks, and should have a pretty significant efficacy.


When flying in this part of the world, you usually get a thermal camera screen when getting on the plane, and usually another one crossing an international border. Won't catch every case, but should take a big bite out of them at minimal cost. We should have them everywhere.


Ironically I was infected with COVID myself on an airplane -- on a flight from Saigon to Singpore on a JetStar plane which had just come from Wuhan. It seemed like the entire flight was feverish and coughing. I hadn't even heard about the Coronavirus at that point, but I knew I was going to be sick. It was a mega-superspreader event for sure, I think it was the very flight which first brought the virus to Sing.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:15   #5
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Interesting. Alan Joyce (QANTAS CEO) was on the media the other day sprouting on about how aircraft travel was more Covid safe than other travel. Of course, he might be biassed .

IIRC, the thrust of his argument was having the air vent open above each passenger directs the air flow downwards over each passenger and then the air is exhausted from near floor level. The volume of clean air introduced from outside has been increased on QANTAS aircraft.

I dunno the truth of this but he seemed convinced!

He is also on record for saying the all QANTAS international passengers would need to vaccinated if/when a vaccine becomes widely available.

That's exactly what I had read and what I believed, and I posted this study because it seems to contradict that.



But be all that as it may -- I believe that air travel is pretty safe now. I don't think there are a significant number of confirmed spreading events on planes anymore. Screening out sympomatic patients, and masking, will surely be making a big difference.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:29   #6
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

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That's exactly what I had read and what I believed, and I posted this study because it seems to contradict that.



But be all that as it may -- I believe that air travel is pretty safe now. I don't think there are a significant number of confirmed spreading events on planes anymore. Screening out sympomatic patients, and masking, will surely be making a big difference.
Dockhead, has it been your experience recently that all passengers wear masks on flights and for the duration of the flight? Any stubborn individuals who refuse to wear a mask? If so, how does the staff react? (I ask because I have a flight coming up and I don't want to bring the virus to my elderly mother in Canada...).
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:37   #7
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

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Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
Dockhead, has it been your experience recently that all passengers wear masks on flights and for the duration of the flight? Any stubborn individuals who refuse to wear a mask? If so, how does the staff react? (I ask because I have a flight coming up and I don't want to bring the virus to my elderly mother in Canada...).

My experience has been that everyone is very good with masks. There was just one case where a Finnish woman had a panic attack and couldn't breathe and was somewhat abusive towards the Finnair stewardess, but in the usual patient tolerant Nordic way this did not turn into a scene, they just left the woman alone for a bit, and pretty soon she calmed down and put on her mask. But all this is in the Nordic and Baltic region (I haven't been outside the region since January apart from Germany and Poland); culture and behavior may not be the same everywhere. That is to say -- YMMV.


My elderly parents won't see me at all although I proposed doing two tests several days apart during isolation in their city. I would be really careful visiting elderly mothers.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:43   #8
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
My experience has been that everyone is very good with masks. There was just one case where a Finnish woman had a panic attack and couldn't breathe and was somewhat abusive towards the Finnair stewardess, but in the usual patient tolerant Nordic way this did not turn into a scene, they just left the woman alone for a bit, and pretty soon she calmed down and put on her mask. But all this is in the Nordic and Baltic region (I haven't been outside the region since January apart from Germany and Poland); culture and behavior may not be the same everywhere. That is to say -- YMMV.


My elderly parents won't see me at all although I proposed doing two tests several days apart during isolation in their city. I would be really careful visiting elderly mothers.
Thanks for the reply. I will isolate at my brother's house for the first 10 days before I visit my mother, but I still worry about catching the virus on a long 12-hour flight. Hopefully we'll have a vaccine here in early 2021, as promised.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:35   #9
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

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Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
Thanks for the reply. I will isolate at my brother's house for the first 10 days before I visit my mother, but I still worry about catching the virus on a long 12-hour flight. Hopefully we'll have a vaccine here in early 2021, as promised.
You do understand that the Canadian border is closed to anyone other than Canadians....?Also, if you are permitted entrance, you will be required to isolate for two weeks - VERY strictly monitored by Health Canada...? Additionally, most places have returned to not allowing outside visitors to long-term care - esPECially anyone who had been travelling outside Canada in the previous two weeks....
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:46   #10
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

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Thanks for the reply. I will isolate at my brother's house for the first 10 days before I visit my mother, but I still worry about catching the virus on a long 12-hour flight. Hopefully we'll have a vaccine here in early 2021, as promised.

That sounds reasonable. Why don't you take a test when you arrive and then another a week later? That will give you a lot of confidence before going to see her.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:46   #11
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

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You do understand that the Canadian border is closed to anyone other than Canadians....?Also, if you are permitted entrance, you will be required to isolate for two weeks - VERY strictly monitored by Health Canada...? Additionally, most places have returned to not allowing outside visitors to long-term care - esPECially anyone who had been travelling outside Canada in the previous two weeks....
I'm a Canadian citizen. I hope to be vaccinated before the trip, but I can't count on it. The state of Săo Paulo should start mass vaccinations in early 2021 and I plan on going to Canada in June or July.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:47   #12
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

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Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
You do understand that the Canadian border is closed to anyone other than Canadians....?Also, if you are permitted entrance, you will be required to isolate for two weeks - VERY strictly monitored by Health Canada...? Additionally, most places have returned to not allowing outside visitors to long-term care - esPECially anyone who had been travelling outside Canada in the previous two weeks....

Did he say his mother is in a care home? I didn't see anything about that. Or that he's non-Canadian?
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:48   #13
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

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That sounds reasonable. Why don't you take a test when you arrive and then another a week later? That will give you a lot of confidence before going to see her.
Good advice. I'll do that.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:48   #14
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

although they seem to have been proven very effective, i am still wondering where all the covid-sniffing dogs are

perhaps it depends on govts, legislation, and/or on the airports, but if i had an airline industry that wanted to create an edge for getting people onboard, i'd hire a team with covid dogs

Copacobana, good luck flying home!
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:20   #15
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Re: Some New Science on Virus Transmission on Airplanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead;3286201[quote
... We haven't really talked about thermal cameras, but it seems to me that this is a really excellent measure......and thermal cameras are now being widely used to screen ...
... Even lower cost and even less intrusive than masks, and should have a pretty significant efficacy...
... We should have them everywhere...
Indeed, thermal scanners are a low cost, low impact screening measure.
Unfortunately, they are not considered to be very reliable.

These systems are sometimes seen as a magic bullet for mass fever screening. Measurements are almost instant, there is no contact, and data can be viewed at a distance, so there is minimal disruption in public places and little risk of cross-contamination or harm to the operator. And the systems can be used with minimal training.
However, there is a glaring lack of clinical evidence for thermal fever screening solutions.

For instance:

"FACT: Thermal scanners CANNOT detect COVID-19
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature). They cannot detect people who are infected with COVID-19. There are many causes of fever."

WHO https://www.who.int/emergencies/dise...ermal-scanners

"Be aware that, even when the [non-contact temperature assessment] devices are used properly, temperature assessment may have limited impact on reducing the spread of COVID-19 infections. Some studies suggest that temperature measurements alone may miss more than half of infected people.
Thermal imaging systems and non-contact infrared thermometers, which are non-contact temperature assessment devices, may be used to measure a person's temperature. An elevated temperature is one way to identify a person who may have a COVID-19 infection, although an infected person may be contagious without an elevated temperature or other easily detectable symptoms."

USFDA https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/...id-19-pandemic

"Don’t rely on temperature screening products for detection of coronavirus (COVID-19), says MHRA
Warning that thermal cameras and other such “temperature screening” products, some of which make direct claims to screen for COVID-19, are not a reliable way to detect if people have the virus."

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (UK)https://www.gov.uk/government/news/d...d-19-says-mhra
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