Tags: Coronavirus | Health Topics | Travel | Vaccines | ireland | flight | superspreader

In Ireland, a 7-Hour Flight Has Been Linked to 59 Coronavirus Cases

a world is in a face mask marked with the ireland flag and coronavirus floating in space in an illustration

By    |   Monday, 26 October 2020 05:03 PM

An international flight to Ireland this summer caused the spread of COVID-19 to 59 people, according to researchers. They did not say where the flight originated but said 13 of the 49 passengers on board tested positive for the coronavirus. Those who tested positive went on to infect 46 more people in Ireland.

According to The Washington Post, 9 of the infected passengers wore masks and 12 had symptoms. Four landed up in the hospital, with one in intensive care. While most of the seats were unoccupied on the flight, a diagram of the seating pattern shows that most of those who tested positive were in clusters of three.

"Four of the flight cases were not seated next to any other positive case," said the report of the incident. "Air travel has accelerated the global pandemic, contributing to the spread of COVID-19 throughout the world."

However, a Defense Department study published this month measured the risk of catching the coronavirus on board a packed flight and found that a person would have to be seated next to an infected individual for at least 54 hours to receive a dangerous airborne dose of the virus. The researchers said if people wear masks during the flight, little of the virus spreads because of the excellent air filtration on planes.

According to Travel + Leisure, the cleaning procedures aboard airplanes has been amped to include disinfecting planes between flights while some airlines have installed HEPA filters to completely refresh the air onboard and filter out 99% of airborne pathogens.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in September that nearly 11,000 have been potentially infected by the virus on flights, according to the Post. Coronavirus tests were not required by the Irish government for entry this summer, but those rules are being tightened, according to the Irish Times.

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An international flight to Ireland this summer caused the spread of COVID-19 to 59 people, according to researchers.
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Monday, 26 October 2020 05:03 PM
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