A sick passenger on a plane spreads coronavirus to 15 other people on a flight from London to Vietnam, according to a new published study.
The passenger, identified as a 27-year-old Vietnamese businesswoman, had a sore throat and cough before boarding the flight on March 1 and was positive for coronavirus four days later, according to the study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
By March 10, tracking contacts found that the woman had infected 14 other passengers and a crew member on board the plane, according to a study recently published by the Centers for Disease Control.
“The risk of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 on board during long flights is real and has the potential to cause COVID-1
During the Vietnam Airlines flight, which carried a total of 217 people, face masks were not required on planes or at airports, the study said.
But passengers arriving in Hanoi from coronavirus-infected areas, including Britain, were screened at the airport using thermal imaging to check for elevated temperatures.
It is unclear whether the woman was originally marked at the airport. But by March 5, as her symptoms worsened, she sought help 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, whom she visited, also caught the mistake, the study said.