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article imageStudy names JFK Airport as top germ spreader

By Katerina Nikolas     Jul 28, 2012 in Health
New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport tops the list of airports for spreading globe-trotting germs which lead to contagious diseases.
A study published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology cites busy John F. Kennedy Airport as top of a list of "super-spreaders" of germs, Naharnet reported.
The study considered the role that airports play in the spread of infectious diseases, in order to understand how epidemics can spread so rapidly. It concluded the New York airport was the "most likely to play a role in spreading a pandemic" according to Business Standard.
It is the airport's global connections and multitude of passing travelers that makes it a risky spot, rather than any hint that the airport itself is disease ridden or unclean.
Ruben Juanes, an energy studies professor involved in the study, said "Our work is the first to look at the spatial spreading of contagion processes at early times, and to propose a predictor for which 'nodes' -- in this case, airports -- will lead to more aggressive spatial spreading.
The findings could form the basis for an initial evaluation of vaccine allocation strategies in the event of an outbreak, and could inform national security agencies of the most vulnerable pathways for biological attacks in a densely connected world."
Following JFK Int in the germ super-spreader list were Los Angeles International, Honolulu, San Francisco, Newark Liberty, Chicago O'Hare and Washington Dulles.
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