Air Conditioning System on Cruise Ship Reportedly Spread the Novel Coronavirus
SAN FRANCISCO, C.A. — Researchers released the results of a study that analyzed the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, on board of the Diamond Princess cruise ship in January and February of 2020. The study’s results strongly indicate that the air conditioning played a huge role in spreading the novel coronavirus around the ship, according to a report appearing on SFgate.com. The study results have not been subjected to peer review. However, various reports from other counties suggest that airflow in ventilation systems caused outbreaks of the deadly virus in restaurants. The Diamond Princess docked in a Japanese port for nearly two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from the ship to the shore after the crew learned that numerous passengers displayed symptoms associated with a COVID-19 infection.
As the Diamond Princess sailed the waters off of Japan, COVID-19 infected 619 people on board. Just fewer than half, 301, presented with symptoms associated with a COVID-19 infection. The ship was ordered to quarantine in Japanese waters from February 6 to February 17, 2020. During that time frame, 163 symptomatic COVID-19 patients, 115 passengers, and 48 crew members were identified.
Based on those numbers, the study’s authors examined 115 passengers and learned that only twenty percent of those people shared a cabin with an individual who displayed COVID-19 symptoms, which was confirmed by doctors. The remaining 80 percent of passenger cases involving symptomatic COVID-19 patients did not share a cabin with a confirmed COVID-19 patient who was symptomatic.
The varying incubation period of COVID-19 and group of asymptomatic passengers limit the utility of the study. The researchers hypothesized the greater proportion of infected passengers during the quarantine period would have shared a cabin with another infected person or was in close contact with a COVID-19 patient. The results of the test suggest that the air conditioning systems on the ship circulated the virus around the vessel. The researchers say that the air conditioning systems on cruise ships are similar to those installed in hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, gyms, and office buildings.
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