Friday, October 28, 2016

Preventing the Spread of Respiratory Pathogens on Airplanes

 A recent technological development in the recycling of cabin air in airplanes could significantly impact the spread of respiratory pathogens.  A Canadian teenager, Raymond Wang, has developed what he calls a “personalized breathing-zone” through the implementation of directional fan technology that has been proven to effectively limit particle spread.  In terms of pathogen transmission, specifically viral, respiratory routes are the most contagious and effective, thus when combined with the closed and close quarters of an airplane cabin, the instance of infection rises exponentially.  History reminds us of this fact by presenting countless instances when a single infectious passenger, making the ignorant decision to travel, has transmitted a viral infection to nearly one-third of the passengers on-board the plane.  Some of the viruses that are transmitted by a respiratory route are especially virulent, including: measles, Ebola, SARS, and various strains of influenza.  In a rapidly globalizing world, this tech could provide a significant decrease in massive transmission of pathogens that could result in a potential pandemic.

-Ethan Wentworth


No comments: