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Airline routes help predict where disease will spread

Air travel doesn't pose extra risks for individuals, infectious disease experts say, but it does spread diseases between populations.

Passengers may worry viruses will spread around planes in recirculated air, but that isn't a concern thanks to the high efficiency particulate filters that catch microbes, said Dr. Anthony Evans, chief of aviation medicine for the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization.

"Any air that's been recycled through so called HEPA filter will be clear to all intents and purposes of any harmful viruses or bacteria," Evans said.

The real risk, whether on a plane or at a theatre, comes from being in close contact with someone who is infected, he said.
 
 

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