Study to Look at Disease Spread on Planes

AUBURN, Ala., June 9 (UPI) — Researchers at an Alabama university have received federal funding for a study of whether diseases spread in airline cabins.

Tony Overfelt, executive director of the Airliner Cabin Environment Research Center and a professor of mechanical engineering at Auburn University, and James Barbaree, an Auburn biologist, will carry out the study, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The research is being funded with $300,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Overfelt said many passengers believe they picked up diseases, especially colds, while flying, a concern that has become sharper with the advent of the new strains of influenza and respiratory diseases like SARS. The concern needs to be “thoroughly investigated,” he said.

The Auburn team will be sharing data with researchers at Purdue, Kansas State and the Harvard School of Public Health.

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Categorized | Aviation, Engineering, Other
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