Is the Travel Industry at Risk?
To say that the coronavirus is dangerous to public health is a gross understatement. People who work in the travel industry are at the highest risk for exposure to this infectious agent.
The travel industry is full of people with a compromised immune system, such as HIV-positive patients. They have been diagnosed with viruses like Ebola and Marburg, which can lead to severe illness and death if exposed to the virus. It is not only patients in the health care setting who are at risk, but also employees who have had close contact with the patient, an animal such as a bird or pet, or contaminated items, including vomit, vomit contact lenses, or other fluid.
Infectious agents are most commonly found in the respiratory tract, nose to toe, in the throat, and throughout the nose; however, coronaviruses are also known to contaminate the eyes, the digestive tract, the mouth, the genital area, the reproductive organs, and the skin. In the past, coronaviruses were always associated with outbreaks caused by certain types of rodents, and to date, we still don’t know for sure why these viruses are becoming more prolific and easily transmitted.
As the term suggests, it is only the immune-compromised that are at risk in the travel industry. These are the same people that are generally not aware of the risks of this airborne pathogen. However, those who develop symptoms of infection may not be as lucky as those with a healthy immune system. They are in danger of developing serious complications.
The symptoms that are commonly associated with an infectious agent are flu-like symptoms. Commonly, cough and/or shortness of breath occur. However, there is also an increased risk of pneumonia, diarrhea, asthma, and encephalitis.
Transmission of an infectious agent in the workplace is rare, but when it does occur, it is quite serious. The virus is able to live for up to six hours outside the body, so once in the air or the soil, it can find its way into the respiratory system and enter the bloodstream.
Most commonly, it is the very young and very old that are affected. People who develop cold symptoms can experience a variety of symptoms, such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, conjunctivitis, wheezing, or a reduced ability to breathe on their own.
People who work in the travel industry have a unique need to avoid direct contact with any infected surfaces, such as the floors or counters. They need to wear appropriate masks and gloves. The risk of developing serious illness from airborne contagion is quite high in the travel industry.
The influenza virus is also one of the more common ways in which the flu is transmitted through the air in the travel industry. Influenza A is more common in travelers, especially in the winter season. The flu can be an extremely dangerous virus if not detected and treated early.
Unfortunately, the odds of developing flu complications in the travel industry are quite high. The respiratory and gastrointestinal systems may also be compromised in the same way. Those working in this industry have an increased risk of developing a bout of influenza.
Therefore, those who work in the travel industry need to protect themselves against possible exposure to the virus. It is recommended that they take a course of antiviral medication as soon as possible.
For up to date information on this developing situation, please see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html