How to avoid dive-wrecking in-flight colds

archive – Diving News

How to avoid dive-wrecking in-flight colds

Readers' answers to a Big Question to be published in September's Diver magazine have confirmed that many divers worry about contracting infections in the run-up to what may well be expensive diving holidays.

Relevant news is that US scientists reckon they have come up with an effective way of minimising the risk of contracting an in-flight infection such as a cold – which is all it takes to derail a dive-trip.

Airliners can contain hundreds of people from different parts of the world and in various states of health, all sitting in close proximity and breathing the same recycled air.

But the researchers reckon the odds of individuals contracting an infection can be affected significantly by the way in which they board the plane.

They combined an infection-spread model with another measuring passenger movement as they boarded, settled and later exited the aircraft, applying this to a hypothetical case of Ebola to see how it might propagate.

With a typical boarding pattern, in which passengers are required to board in three sections from the front of the plane to the middle and then the back, contact time with other passengers through close-quarters queuing increased and the infection risk was calculated as 67%.

But when the plane was split into two sections boarding from both ends, the queuing was reduced and the infection risk dropped sharply to 40%.

The risk was also said to be lower on smaller planes with fewer than 150 seats, because they take fewer passengers who tend to reach their seats more quickly. Although Ebola was used in the study, the researchers say that their findings apply to any directly transmitted infection.

Boarding strategy is down to the airline, but the research does suggest that if you reach your seat quickly through priority boarding, or perhaps wait until late on when the queues have dissipated, your chances of having your holiday spoiled could be reduced.

Remember, however, that you might have more trouble stowing your cabin baggage if you leave it really late to take your seat, and might run the risk of missing the plane altogether! And if you’re unlucky enough to be seated close to an infected passenger, your precautions may well have been wasted. 

The study, compiled by researchers from Arizona State, Florida State and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is published in Physical Review Letters E.

Divernet – The Biggest Online Resource for Scuba Divers



Get a weekly roundup of all Divernet news and articles 🤿

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Divernet Posts

Diver Magazine Relaunch

Diver magazine needs YOU!

Are you still lamenting the demise of Diver magazine? Well now you can help resurrect an icon as we seek to bring back the magazine

manta ray and diver over reef in Komodo

Divers pitch into Komodo manta probe

Manta rays choose to stick around Indonesia’s Komodo National Park in unusually large numbers – and, according to a new diver-led study, this community could

female diver holding pair of Fourth Element Tech fins

Tech fins inspired by humpback whales

Whales provided the inspiration for optimising efficiency in Fourth Element’s latest fins, according to the Cornwall-based manufacturer. The “turbulence disruptors” on top of the blades

Last Breath portrait of Woody Harrelson

Woody dives into Last Breath remake

A new version of the British documentary-thriller that captured the imaginations of divers in 2019 is about to be previewed at the Cannes Film Festival.

Viagra tablet

Viagra and diving: Risk reduction

Awareness is everything in diving, and BOB COLE has advice for divers who, for whatever reason, take PDE5 inhibitors I recently met an old friend

Reefs of Raja Ampat

Reefs of Raja Ampat

Local Guide to Raja Ampat Reefs, #4 Neu Reef While Raja Ampat is home to an incredible number of dive sites, one area, in particular,

Follow Divernet on Social Media