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Updated: March 16, 2020
For some travelers, deciding if or when to travel, the part about getting on a plane is what has them concerned. We did some investigations about flying and the precautions recommended by experts on this topic.
"The risk of catching any illness on a flight is generally quite low," says Perry Flint, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association, which represents some 290 airlines worldwide. "Of course, there's a chance of catching something any place people congregate, but less so on a plane, because the air is filtered and refreshed constantly, with systems similar to what you'd find in a hospital operating room."
What is most surprising is that the air on airplanes is better than its reputation. The Center for Disease Control says that transmission of the virus occurs by droplets from coughing or sneezing or direct contact. Air on airplanes is filtered through HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters which traps droplets. Another factor that works in your favor is that the air on planes is extremely dry, which is not conducive to spreading the virus.
We reviewed several articles on this topic published by National Geographic, CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Business Insider among others. Here's what we recommend when flying:
Sources reviewed and quoted: