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Posted on: September 21, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE: Studies say long airline flights problematic during this pandemic


Two new international studies strongly suggest that COVID-19 is transmissible on long-haul airline flights. That and more in the Wayne County Report for September 21, 2020.

The first study traced 217 passengers and crew members from a Vietnam Airline flight with one symptomatic passenger, and identified 16 new coronavirus cases. Twelve of the people who became infected had been seated in business class along with the symptomatic passenger.

The second study investigated four passengers who all traveled on the same flight and were asymptomatic at the time, but tested positive for COVID-19 5-11 days later.

To prove that transmission occurred between the four patients, the researchers sequenced their viruses and found “the near full-length viral genomes from all four patients were 100 percent identical.” Both studies appear in the November 2020 edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases. 

The countywide health data for September 20, 2020, indicates that Taylor had one new case, upped its overall number to 1,015 this year. It had no new deaths; that number remains at 77.

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