Risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus transmission aboard commercial aircraft

Tara M. Vogt, Marta A. Guerra, Elaine W. Flagg, Thomas Ksiazek, Sara A. Lowther, Paul M. Arguin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was introduced to the United States through air travel. Although the risk of SARS-CoV transmission within aircraft cabins has been addressed by several studies, the magnitude of the risk remains unclear. Methods. We attempted to contact all persons with working US telephone numbers aboard seven US-bound flights carrying SARS patients. Consenting participants responded to a questionnaire, and a serum sample was collected at least 38 days after the flight and tested for SARS-CoV-associated antibodies. Participants reporting an illness compatible with SARS, with onset during the 2- to 10-day incubation period, were considered suspect cases; positive serology was required for confirmed cases. Results. Among 1,766 passengers and crew, 339 (19%) persons were contacted. Of these, 312 (92%) completed questionnaires, and blood was collected from 127 (37%). Serology was negative for all 127 participants, including three of four who met the clinical case criteria for SARS, and the fourth had a mild illness that lasted only 5 days. Conclusions. Transmission of SARS-associated CoV was not observed, suggesting that the risk of transmission is not amplified aboard aircraft.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-272
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Travel Medicine
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Coronavirus
Aircraft
Serology
Air Travel
SARS Virus
Telephone
Antibodies
Serum
Surveys and Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus transmission aboard commercial aircraft. / Vogt, Tara M.; Guerra, Marta A.; Flagg, Elaine W.; Ksiazek, Thomas; Lowther, Sara A.; Arguin, Paul M.

In: Journal of Travel Medicine, Vol. 13, No. 5, 09.2006, p. 268-272.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vogt, Tara M. ; Guerra, Marta A. ; Flagg, Elaine W. ; Ksiazek, Thomas ; Lowther, Sara A. ; Arguin, Paul M. / Risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus transmission aboard commercial aircraft. In: Journal of Travel Medicine. 2006 ; Vol. 13, No. 5. pp. 268-272.
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