Almost 11,000 people may have been exposed to the coronavirus on airplanes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
According to The Washington Post, the CDC investigated 1,600 people who traveled by air who were at risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2 and concluded that nearly 11,000 people could have been exposed.
The data on virus transmission on planes, however, is lacking, so a definitive number of virus carriers and people who have gotten sick on airplanes is unknown.
“An absence of cases identified or reported is not evidence that there were no cases,” Caitlin Shockey of the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine told the Post.
“CDC is not able to definitively determine that potential cases were associated (or not) with exposure in the air cabin or through air travel given the numerous opportunities for potential exposure associated with the entire travel journey and widespread global distribution of the virus.”
The CDC has said that the air systems on planes do a good job of filtering the air and that viruses do not spread as easily in that environment.
“Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes,” the CDC’s website reads. “However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19.”
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