A study funded by Boeing conducted by in-flight data scientists from Emory University and Georgia Tech found that the people sitting near you on a plane are the greatest threat to your health
The most common way to spread viruses like the flu is by sneezing, coughing or breathing on healthy people, spending hours in close proximity to a person who’s spewing virus particles is a near sure-fire way to get sick.
The study takes as an example a sick person sitting in the aisle seat of a plane that has three seats per side.
That person has a roughly 80% chance of infecting everyone in their row on that side of the aisle, as well as those in the rows directly in front and behind them on that side, the study found.
On the other side of the aisle, the person in the aisle seat directly across from this hypothetical sick person also has an 80% chance of catching the bug. So do the people in the aisle seats one row ahead of and behind the sick individual. But the people sitting across the aisle from a germy person in a middle or a window seat are significantly more shielded from exposure, with just a 10-30% chance of infection.
The researchers did not compare this scenario to one in which people are sitting near each other for long periods of time without the help of airplane air filters (like on a train, for example).
By their calculations, the best way to avoid catching germs is to get a window seat and stay there for the duration of the flight. Only have 10-30% chance of getting sick. Middle seats were rated second-safest, while the aisles were most dangerous for passing around and catching germs.Using adequate face coverings help to keep both you and the people around you safe.