What are my chances of catching COVID-19 if I take an airplane flight?

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  • Myles Thomson says:

    Just flew out of Florida,Atlanta ,Seattle and Vancouver on 10th day of Quarantine and no symptoms as of yet

  • mark allen says:

    I am a retired airline pilot. I would not fly on an airline at this point. The HEPA filter installed on these jets is absolutely miniscule in size and the recommend change cycle is every 6,000 flight hours. Also if you are in the path of the return air from the cabin to the filter you are essentially getting bathed by everything behind and in front of you. I wish someone would do some honest research on this before claiming that it’s not that big of a risk.

  • Cam Roelofsen says:

    I think this is in accurate. Having had a spray paint booth with 20,000 cfm per minute I would sill have paint in the nose area when not wearing a mask.

    For a plane to be a place where it is improbable to contract the virus. The plane would need to have the doors open with people wearing the emergency masks.

    Sure the planes have HEPA filters but you would need enough air movement to feel a draft in front of your face to offer any true protection

  • Jude Smith says:

    If it’s safe to sit next to someone with the virus because your wearing a mask, why are we continuing with social distancing and masks in the UK? Also they don’t allow peanuts on board flight when someone has a severe allergy due to the risk of particles circulating, surely that shows we can still pick up air borne virus’s.

    • Vicky says:

      The reason is you cannot say please social distance on an airline but people want or need to fly anyway. Plus the HEPA filters and you can turn on the gasper air thing. People take the risk. The idea is to lower risk, the lower the better.
      You need a certain amount of things to get sick, a peanut particle is probably going to be much bigger than a virus particle. Or maybe it takes less peanut to get sick than it does virus. Again, it’s a risk. Getting rid of peanuts on flights is an easy thing to do. Getting rid of virus is not.


Paul Taylor


Paul Taylor is a health journalist and former Patient Navigation Advisor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where he provided advice and answered questions from patients and their families. Paul will continue to write occasional columns for Healthy Debate.

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