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Coronavirus: How to Disinfect Your Space on an Airplane

Coronavirus

A disinfectant on a hard surface, or soap while washing your hands, will kill the coronavirus.

“Wiping down surfaces on a plane won’t hurt, as long as it doesn’t give you a false sense of security,” Andrew Mehle, associate professor of medical microbiology and immunology at the University of Wisconsin Madison, said, stressing that sanitizing your space on a plane should be done in conjunction with washing hands and following other best practices.

Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or long enough to sing “Happy Birthday” twice, and if that’s not possible, then use a generous amount of hand sanitizer.

Viral particles, the transmission vehicle of the coronavirus, must travel within mucus or saliva, and they must enter through eyes, nose or mouth. While the coronavirus can last on surfaces like tray tables, touch screens, door handles and faucets — one study found that other coronaviruses, like SARS and MERS, stay on metal, glass and plastic for up to nine days — a disinfectant on a hard surface, or soap while washing your hands, will kill the virus.

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However, most people tend to touch their faces more often than they realize. Doing so after touching a surface where droplets from when someone sneezed or coughed can lead to the virus being passed on. [read more]

Source: Tariro Mzezewa – The New York Times

Reference Information

What is a coronavirus?

It is a novel virus named for the crownlike spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to lung lesions and pneumonia.

How contagious is the coronavirus?

It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can travel through the air, enveloped in tiny respiratory droplets that are produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. [read more]

World Health Organization recommendations for international travelers

It is prudent for travelers who are sick to delay or avoid travel to affected areas, in particular for elderly travelers and people with chronic diseases or underlying health conditions.

General recommendations for personal hygiene, cough etiquette and keeping a distance of at least one meter from persons showing symptoms remain particularly important for all travelers. These include:

  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, particularly after contact with respiratory secretions. Hand hygiene includes either cleaning hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub. Alcohol-based hand rubs are preferred if hands are not visibly soiled; wash hands with soap and water when they are visibly soiled;
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing immediately of the tissue and performing hand hygiene;
  • Refrain from touching mouth and nose;
  • A medical mask is not required if exhibiting no symptoms, as there is no evidence that wearing a mask – of any type – protects non-sick persons. However, in some cultures, masks may be commonly worn. If masks are to be worn, it is critical to follow best practices on how to wear, remove and dispose of them and on hand hygiene after removal. [read more]

WHO Data Dashboard:  Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Click here to review a dashboard that outlines the global statistics for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.