Omicron doubles or triples risk of infection on planes, according to experts


(WTVO) — For those that are planning to fly somewhere for Christmas or New Years, chances of catching COVID-19 may be higher because of the omicron variant.

However, there are things that can be done to remain healthy.

The International Air Transport Association’s Medical Advisor said that the mutation doubles, or even triples, the risks of infection on board a flight. The group suggested that passengers who sit next to each other should avoid taking off their masks and eating at the same time.

Experts also said that the chance of transmission aboard a plane is less than packed places on the ground, like airports, bars and gyms. That is because flights use hospital-grade air filters.

Health experts urged people who are traveling to get tested.

“We have some family members that have recently gotten it, so we have a lot of people coming for Christmas, so we’re just making sure everybody gets tested,” said flight passenger Brian Anderson. “Whether you’ve been vaccinated or not, we’re making sure everybody gets tested prior to Christmas Eve, when they’re all going to be over.”

Travelers can get tested for COVID-19 at O’Hare and Midway airports. About three million people are expected to fly in and out of the two hubs between Wednesday and January 3.

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