Question: Are there any specific methods for cleaning the plane after a patient suspected of having coronavirus or some other contagious illness has left the plane?
– Keegan Miller, Midlothian, Virginia
Answer: Yes, there are specific maintenance procedures for cleaning an aircraft after suspected contamination. This would not be specific to the coronavirus (coronavirus is a family of viruses; the specific one to which you refer is 2019-NCoV).
Any contamination is treated the same, with disinfectant procedures. This is part of an airline's emergency response plan for contaminants.
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Q: Why are passengers that appear sick not required to wear masks? Stop it at the source!
– DMR, Byron, California
A: If a passenger is ill, he or she may not be allowed to travel. That decision is up to the regulators and the airline. However, I do not know of a legal means (i.e., a regulation) that could require a passenger to wear a mask.
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Q: I’m traveling to Romania in May for a vacation. Should I be concerned about the coronavirus at the airport or on the plane at that point?
– Teo, Michigan
A: The coronavirus situation affecting much of China has been changing on a daily basis and is likely to be dramatically different by May. Hopefully, it will be over by then.
John Cox is a retired airline captain with US Airways and runs his own aviation safety consulting company, Safety Operating Systems.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: How are planes decontaminated after sick passengers?