It’s not just the elbow room anymore. New modeling studies show that leaving the central seat empty can reduce the spread of COVID-19 on airplanes.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kansas State University, was conducted when there were few flights involving blocked mid-seats. In the United States, only Delta Air Lines continues to leave its middle seats empty, and airlines have announced that this practice will continue until April 30th.
The CDC recommends that people who have not been vaccinated with COVID-19 do not travel unnecessarily.
The newly published study dates back to 2017, when researchers at Kansas State University installed a simulated airliner cabin filled with temperature mannequins to simulate the spread of the virus in an airplane. This project was related to influenza research at the time. Researchers have blown the air out of fake huts with the virus MS2, an RNA virus that attacks certain bacteria but is harmless to humans. This virus is often used as a substitute for dangerous pathogens that spread in small airborne aerosols, such as COVID-19.
Researchers use data from these experiments simulating both single-isle and double-isle cabins to analyze the reduction in exposure to SAR-CoV-2 with distance from infected individuals. is created. They also simulated what the exposure would be if the middle seat remained empty or filled.
Depending on the scenario used, the results showed a 23% to 57% reduction in exposure if the central seat was left empty instead of being filled.
The 23% reduction occurred when infected passengers sat in the same row as uninfected passengers. Leaving the middle seat between the two reduced the chances of uninfected passengers being exposed to the virus by nearly a quarter.
Researchers also modeled a risk reduction across the cabin of 120 people if one, two, or three of the planes were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and the central seat was left empty. did. They found that leaving the central seat empty, depending on the number of infected people, reduced the risk of forward exposure by 35% to 39.4%.
Of course, blocking the central seat in the real world reduces the number of potential plane infections by up to 33% on its own, assuming the plane is full. To prevent that reduction in capacity from distorting the results of distance, researchers have placed infectious passengers only in the aisle or central seat of this model. Therefore, the reduction in exposure was not particularly related to the overall reduction in passengers, but to vacant seats in particular.
Finally, the researchers found that nine infectious passengers were scattered between the three rows, and six out of a total of twelve infectious passengers in the three rows, with the central seat left empty. I tested the scenario with. In this scenario, we measured the combined effect of distance and capacity reduction. The results showed that the empty middle sheet reduced virus exposure by 57%. (According to researchers, exposure is not the same as transmitting the actual infection, but exposure is a prerequisite for the spread of the virus.)
Despite the feeling that boarding an airplane means sharing air with more than 100 potentially infected strangers, airline ventilation systems actually air in several rows of sections. Collect and filter. The discovery that distance is important reflects actual data on the occurrence of planes. Get closer to the infected There is an increased risk of infection.
The original data for the cabin mockup was collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, so researchers did not investigate the effect of face masks on the spread of the virus. The mask is excellent at blocking large respiratory droplets that do not move far before falling. It also helps prevent vector infections by keeping human hands away from the nose and mouth. Researchers have written that they also block smaller aerosols, but they are less efficient. Therefore, an empty middle sheet and face mask combination may be more protective than the face mask alone.
Researchers published their work on Wednesday (April 14th) Weekly report on CDC morbidity and mortality..
Originally published in Live Science.
Leaving the center seat empty reduces the COVID-19 that spreads across the plane, suggesting modeling
Source link Leaving the center seat empty reduces the COVID-19 that spreads across the plane, suggesting modeling