The US Department of Transportation has begun an investigation into whether a virus that’s been linked to a coronavirus outbreak in the US can be spread by air travel, an official said on Monday.
The US Department for Homeland Security is investigating whether “dirty” air travel poses a risk to public health, according to a statement from the agency.
“In light of the recent coronaviruses reported in the United States, the Department is conducting an investigation of whether dirty air travel could pose a risk of exposure to these viruses,” the statement said.
The agency said it was also investigating whether the virus has spread through the air.
Air travel has become a key concern for the coronaviral pandemic in the Western Hemisphere, which has seen more than 2,400 deaths and 1.8 million infections.
In the US, the virus was identified in two coronavirotic cases and confirmed in more than 1,200 cases.
In October, a coronavectomy and emergency room visit by a woman who contracted the virus in Mexico revealed the virus could be transmitted through air, although she died from her infection within days.
On Monday, a man was treated at a hospital in California after coming down with a severe case of COVID-19 while on vacation in Hawaii.
The virus was found in his breath and saliva, and he tested positive for COVID.