Do you think your cities travel hub is the most congested airport in the United States? If you live in New York City and that airport is JFK you are right. A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studied the countries 40 most visited airports in an attempt to determine how efficiently they would spread deadly viruses to other parts of the world.
Researchers examined the airports to help public health officials better understand where and when to treat infections before an outbreak leads to an epidemic or pandemic.
The study was careful to point out that JFK was deemed the most communicable because of congestion and not because of cleanliness.
JFK ranked at the top of the list because it connects to many other airports which means a higher likelihood of receiving and transporting illness. Researchers also discovered that travelers flying out of JFK tend to spend longer in New York than visitors flying into other airports for a long weekend stay in the city.
Behind JFK was Los Angeles International Airport, more commonly referred to as LAX.
In what might be the most surprising ranking Honolulu International Airport ranked third, not because of its congestion but rather because it connects to so many areas including Asia, Australia and elsewhere.
Also close to the top of the list was Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport
Marine researcher from upstate Hammondsport Skylar Miller tells the NY Daily News he isn’t concerned in the least:
“Epidemics can happen anywhere. The study wouldn’t affect my travel choices,” she said after arriving on a flight from the Bahamas, where she now works.
On second thought, she added, “I guess if an outbreak did happen, it would be different, but until then I wouldn’t be too concerned.”
Inquisitr writer Kim LaCapria lives near JFK and she joked, “contracting a rare tropical disease is the trade-0ff for high parking costs and long waits at TSA security checkpoints.”
Are you worried about communicable diseases at congested airports?