Airbone threat

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

HUMANITY is facing the threat of dangerous viral diseases from a hitherto unsuspected quarter - sewage tanks of aircrafts. According to a survey sponsored by the World Health Organisation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, out of 40 samples of sewage tested from international flights at two sponsored airports, 19 contained infectious viruses that had survived exposure to disinfectant chemicals in the aircrafts' sewage tanks. Researchers were particularly looking for enteroviruses (which usually occur in the gastrointestinal tract) such as the polio virus. Though they found that the samples were free from live polio virus, there were other enteroviruses that cause symptoms like diarrhoea, fever and nausea. Researchers suspect that other dangerous viruses that can be transmitted by sewage such as hepatitis A and E, may also escape disinfecting solutions. "The range of illnesses that can be transmitted by the world's ,oixboes is quite worrisome," says Mark Sabwv. an environmental scientist at the University of North Carolina. HUMANITY is facing the threat of dangerous viral diseases from a hitherto unsuspected quarter - sewage tanks of aircrafts. According to a survey sponsored by the World Health Organisation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, out of 40 samples of sewage tested from international flights at two sponsored airports, 19 contained infectious viruses that had survived exposure to disinfectant chemicals in the aircrafts' sewage tanks. Researchers were particularly looking for enteroviruses (which usually occur in the gastrointestinal tract) such as the polio virus. Though they found that the samples were free from live polio virus, there were other enteroviruses that cause symptoms like diarrhoea, fever and nausea. Researchers suspect that other dangerous viruses that can be transmitted by sewage such as hepatitis A and E, may also escape disinfecting solutions. "The range of illnesses that can be transmitted by the world's ,airlines is quite worrisome," says Mark Sobesy, an environmental scientist at the University of North Carolina.

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