A doctor has weighed in on the debate about how to manage flight sickness.
John Pugh, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said it was the responsibility of flight attendants to make sure the cabin crew and passengers were well-informed about the risks associated with the virus.
“You can’t just walk into a terminal and just assume everything is fine,” Pugh told ABC News.
The airline industry has been trying to get passengers to stop coughing, which has prompted a number of questions about what should be done if the cabin is overheated.
Pugh said he believed the problem had been exacerbated by the fact that the virus was airborne and airborne people could spread it, not the way that it was being handled on the ground.
“I would imagine that we’re not going to get any relief from coughing on planes,” he said.
However, Pugh said that was not necessarily the case.
“We can all agree that you have to cough on planes, but coughing on a plane is not going out of the window, is it?” he said, adding that the risk of spread from airborne coughing was much lower than the risk from ground-based transmission.
“You have to make the assumption that you can be in a room with an open door and you can cough and get a virus in the room and then that room is contaminated,” he explained.
For those who have already been diagnosed with Ebola, Pough said it may be helpful to stay home and try to reduce the number of coughs that people do.
“People are not going away, so if you’re really concerned, I would suggest that you should take precautions, like you can’t leave the house, you can stay in a hotel, take care of yourself and you don’t want to spread the virus,” he told ABC.
Dr. John Pugh with a virus detection kit.
In a statement to ABC News, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had no immediate comment on the new study.
However, it said in a statement that it had been informed by the airline industry and had been working closely with the health department to develop an Ebola response plan.
Its statement said that, in a meeting with CDC officials in New York City in mid-November, the airline said that the best way to combat the spread of Ebola was to make it impossible for people to cough.
CDC spokesman Chris Buckling said the agency would review the CDC’s statement.
“The CDC will continue to monitor the evolving situation in the United States,” Buckling told ABC’s World News Tonight.
ABC/Reuters Dr Pugh was not available for comment on Wednesday.