Flight attendants and other airline workers have lower rates of infection from the coronavirus than the general population, according to new data.
Although research shows the virus spreads more readily in close quarters, statistics reveal that in-flight workers actually have a lower number of COVID-19 cases. According to Business Insider, the safety protocols instituted by airlines to lure back passengers to fly the friendly skies must be doing the trick.
"The actions we have taken to ensure the safety and well-being of our team and customers are working," said Robert Isom, president of American Airlines, according to Business Insider.
Figures from The New York Times show the general U.S. population has about a 2% incidence of infection from the virus. Data provided by the Association of Flight Attendants shows a little over 1,000 flight attendants have been infected nationwide out of 122,000 employees, with an average of just a 0.8% infection rate of COVID-19.
According to Travel + Leisure, the cleaning procedures aboard airplanes have been amped up to include disinfecting planes between flights. Some airlines have installed HEPA filters to completely refresh the air onboard and filter out 99% of airborne pathogens.
United, Jet Blue, Delta and Southwest use electrostatic antimicrobial sprays to sanitize every cabin surface. According to Newsweek, the risk of catching an infection on an aircraft is typically lower than in a shopping center or an office environment, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added, according to Newsweek: "Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulated and is filtered on airplanes."
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