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Ventilation systems in modern aircraft do not spread the virus, Pentagon studies suggest

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A new study published Thursday suggests that people don’t have to worry about circulating air that spreads the coronavirus by plane.

Pentagon studies support early studies showing that aircraft ventilation systems efficiently filter air and remove particles that can infect viruses.

Published without peer review, this study did not consider other ways people could catch the virus on an aircraft — from the surface or to the toilet, where others are coughing or breathing directly. From a limited space such as.

The US Transport Force, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Mobile Corps used Boeing 777-200 and 767-300 aircraft equipped with sensors to reproduce the effects of a full-fledged airliner.

A dummy wearing a surgical mask simulated a coughing passenger infected with a respiratory virus.

The team used a fluorescent aerosol tracer to see where the particles emitted by the coughing “passengers” had moved. The team concluded that they were quickly inhaled into the ventilation system and were unlikely to contaminate nearby surfaces or blow into the breathing zones of people sitting nearby.

“The tests assume that the masks are worn continuously and the number of infected people is small,” the research team wrote. “Surface contamination by non-aerosol routes (large droplets or fecal contamination) is likely to occur in washrooms and other common areas and has not been tested here,” they added.

“These alternative exposure routes are more difficult to predict due to uncertain human behavior.”

According to other reports, people were infected with the coronavirus on an airplane, perhaps when they took off their masks to use the toilet.

“The test did not include substantive movements that changed the rate of change in air or human interactions, such as across airplanes, airports, lounges, and jetways,” the researchers added.

“Similarly, the mannequin remained positive. Uncertainty in human behavior with conversation and behavior can change the risk and direction of the seat closest to the first patient, especially in the case of large droplets. “

There’s a lot left to learn

Much is still unknown about the Covid-19 infection on the plane. Two previous studies Document actual cases of suspected in-flight transmission.

Both studies included cases related to long-haul flights early in the pandemic, before airlines began demanding face masks.

Another study to document the case A woman suspected of having a coronavirus infection during the flight wore an N95 mask throughout the flight, except when using the toilet.

The washroom was shared by asymptomatic patients sitting three rows apart.

The· Notes from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Most viruses and other bacteria do not spread easily on flights because the air circulates and is filtered by plane,” he added, adding that on crowded flights there is no social distance and passengers are from others 6 You need to sit within feet for a long time. You may be at increased risk of getting infected with Covid-19. “

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