[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 34.234.223.162. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words
    Views 57,527
    Citations 0
    Research Letter
    Public Health
    August 18, 2020

    Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission on an International Flight and Among a Tourist Group

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Institute for Medical Virology, University Hospital, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    • 2University Hospital Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    • 3Health Protection Authority, City of Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    • 4Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, Branch Translational Medicine und Pharmacology, Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    • 5German Centre for Infection Research, Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, External Partner Site Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(8):e2018044. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.18044

    This case series assessed a commercial airline flight from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Frankfurt, Germany, that occurred on March 9th, 2020. Among 102 passengers on a Boeing 737-900 aircraft were 24 members of a tourist group. Starting 7 days earlier, the group had contact with a hotel manager who later received a diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). No member of the group had received a diagnosis of COVID-19 before the flight, and no measures to prevent transmission (eg, wearing of masks) had been applied. The flight duration was 4 hours 40 minutes.

    At the destination airport, we conducted a medical evaluation of the tourist group, including testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in a throat swab specimen. In addition, we contacted all passengers 4 to 5 weeks later by phone and conducted structured interviews. Passengers were asked whether they had contact with a person with COVID-19. They were prompted to report symptoms and asked about previous testing for SARS-CoV-2. A semiquantitative SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test (EUROIMMUN) was offered to all passengers who had been seated within 2 rows of the index cases and to those who reported to have been symptomatic. Borderline and positive results in the IgG test were confirmed with a plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). Oral informed consent was obtained from all study participants, and additional written consent was obtained for laboratory tests. This study was exempt from a formal ethics committee approval by the University Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.

    ×