Airlines fight spread of coronavirus

Little risk of catching coronavirus on a plane

Airlines disinfecting planes to prevent spread of coronavirusThanks to Peter for a link to MSN, reporting that airlines are upping their game in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. As it continues to affect more countries, airlines are apparently turning to super-strength disinfectants to sanitise planes before flights.

Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong carrier that has been hit by cancellations into mainland China, is disinfecting plane surfaces after every single flight, including meal tables and armrests. Planes that carried passengers with coronavirus are given an additional deep clean and disinfection.

Qantas is using Viraclean, a disinfectant that kills everything from Hepatitis B to Herpes. The Australian airline is also replacing headrests, pillow covers and blankets among other things after every flight. Korean Air is similarly vigilant and is using MD-125 to disinfect its planes. The cleaning solution is able to kill off bacteria and viruses ranging from HIV to measles according to the company that makes it.

What’s the likelihood of catching coronavirus on a plane?

The Independent believes that the risk of catching coronavirus through the air in the plane cabin is relatively low unless you’re sitting right next to someone with the disease.

During the flight, the plane draws in fresh air from the outside. It’s considered sterile as there are very few microorganisms at high altitude and it gets heated to over 250C according to a report by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Around 50 per cent of the air in cabins is recirculated, but this goes through air filters similar to ones used in surgical environments before it’s pumped back into the plane. It means that if you’re going to catch a bug on a flight, it’s likely to be from contact with someone with the virus or from surfaces.

Is there anything I can do to disinfect my plane seat?

Airlines travelling to regions affected by coronavirus have stepped up their cleaning routine, which reduces the risks, but MSN advises that if you want to be extra careful, it’s worth bringing your own disinfectant wipes onboard with you – just make sure coronavirus is listed on the pack.


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