Woman spread coronavirus to 15 people aboard London-Vietnam flight

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A single disgusted plane passenger spread the coronavirus to 15 other people on a flight between London and Vietnam, according to a recently published study.The passenger, identified as a 27-year-old Vietnamese businesswoman, had a sore throat and cough before boarding the March 1 flight and tested positive for coronavirus four days later, according to the study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

On March 10, through contact tracing, health officials determined that the woman had infected 14 other passengers and a crew member on the plane, according to the study, which was recently released by the Centers for Disease Control.

“The risk of onboard transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during long flights is real and has the potential to cause COVID-19 clusters of substantial size, even in business class environments with spacious seats far beyond that. of the established distance used. to define close contact on airplanes, ”the study found.

At the time of the Vietnam Airlines flight, which had a total of 217 people on board, face masks were not needed on planes or at airports, according to the study.

But passengers arriving in Hanoi from areas infected with the coronavirus, including the UK, have been screened at the airport using thermal imaging to check for high temperatures.

It is not known if the woman was initially reported at the airport. But on March 5, with symptoms worsening, she sought care at a local hospital, where she tested positive.

In addition to the passengers on the plane, three of the woman’s roommates and a friend in London she had visited also caught the virus, the study found.

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