A travel group report says flying is safe. The doctor whose research it cited says not so fast.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a global airline trade group representing 290 carriers in 120 countries, published a report this month aiming to reassure grounded travelers about the future of flying. The group collected medical journal data on in-flight coronavirus cases and used it to declare that commercial flights have a “low incidence of inflight COVID-19 transmission” when masks are worn.



(Illustration by Woody Harrington for The Washington Post)


(Illustration by Woody Harrington for The Washington Post)

Following an abundance of new research, the report says, only 44 cases of coronavirus have been linked to a flight, during a period when 1.2 billion passengers traveled.

But a doctor whose work was cited in the report says that the group is misrepresenting his findings by only counting proven flight-linked cases that were published in medical journals.

“IATA is taking it to an extreme saying there’s ‘little’ risk in flying,” says David Freedman, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of Alabama whose study is cited in the IATA report. “What they want is to throw this number on the risk of flying … and we don’t know what that risk is yet. I’m not saying the risk is high, but there is some risk. It just looks like masks help a lot.”

Is it safer to fly or drive during the pandemic? 5 health experts weigh in.

The bottom line, Freedman says, is that cases linked to air travel are very difficult to scientifically prove because passengers are not usually monitored after flying and therefore are not tallied if they become sick. It’s also nearly impossible to determine whether sick passengers picked up the virus on a plane as opposed to in an airport or on the way there, he says. “And if you can’t prove it, it doesn’t end up in a journal.”

Freedman’s cited study, published in September 2020, says that “the absence of large numbers of published in-flight transmissions of SARS-CoV-2 is not definitive evidence of safety.”

While an abundance of in-flight research on covid-19 has recently come to light, Freedman is not alone in his assessment that it’s unclear if flying is a low-risk endeavor amid the pandemic.

Brad Pollock, the associate dean of public health sciences at the University of California at Davis, agrees with Freedman’s assessment of IATA’s report, calling it an “overreach.” Studies do not account for unpredictable passengers who board planes every day, he says.

“There’s movement in the cabin to consider, but also so many people improperly wear a mask below their nostrils,” Pollock says. “That’s more of an issue than what kind of mask they’re wearing. If everyone wears their mask properly on the plane, we’re going to be much better off.”

In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that nearly 11,000 people have been potentially exposed to the coronavirus on flights. The CDC told The Washington Post that of those in-flight exposures, “an absence of cases identified or reported is not evidence that there were no cases.” On Monday, it updated its guidance to

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FDA opens private Covid vaccine meetings to the public in bid to gain trust as Trump pressures for fast approval

The FDA took the unusual step Thursday in opening to the public a routine meeting with an advisory group that’s weighing in on approving the coronavirus vaccine as the agency battles public concerns about its safety as well as political pressure from President Donald Trump to approve it before the Nov. 3 election.



a person in a blue shirt: A health worker injects a person during clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine at Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida.


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A health worker injects a person during clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine at Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida.

The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, an outside group of researchers and physicians who are advising the Food and Drug Administration on whether to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, debated the standards needed to ensure a Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective in a meeting broadcast on YouTube and C-SPAN. Those are key questions among medical experts who worry the U.S. will approve a vaccine before it has been adequately tested.

Officials at the meeting Thursday said the public forum was “critical” to build public trust and confidence in the development of potential vaccines, which are being developed in record time. FDA officials promised that any vaccine would undergo rigorous testing before being distributed to the public.

“Vaccine development can be expedited. However, I want to stress that it cannot, and must not, be rushed,” said Dr. Marion Gruber, director of FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review, adding the agency would not lower its standards.

Trump has pushed the FDA to approve a drug in time to distribute by the Nov. 3 election — a daunting task even his closest advisors have said is near impossible.

“I think we should have it before the election, but frankly the politics gets involved and that’s okay. They want to play their games, it’s going to be right after the election,” Trump said in a video he posted on Twitter on Oct. 7. “The FDA has acted as quickly as they’ve ever acted in history. There’s never been a time, and no president’s ever pushed them like I’ve pushed them either, to be honest.”

The agency is approving drugs “in a matter of weeks” that used to take years, he added.

Video: Dr. Patel on how the White House should be dealing with the virus outbreak: ‘This should go well beyond what’s standard’ (MSNBC)

Dr. Patel on how the White House should be dealing with the virus outbreak: ‘This should go well beyond what’s standard’

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Four drugmakers backed by the U.S. are still conducting their late-stage trials, and medical experts don’t expect to see trial data needed for FDA authorization until later this month at the earliest.

Because of the pandemic, U.S. health officials and researchers have been accelerating the development of vaccine candidates by investing in multiple stages of research even though doing so could be for naught if the vaccine ends up not being effective or safe.

The FDA, under pressure from the White House, has faced skepticism from medical experts that the vaccine approval

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Get Fast and Safe Results From Ayurvedic Medicine for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Many people suffer from panic attacks owing to factors like depression and inner turmoil. They last for about half an hour typically, though it can vary from person to person. Though panic attacks in themselves are not physically dangerous, it may lead to complications like loss of control over the body, repeated panic disorders and even trigger suicidal tendencies.

A panic attack is Nature's way of telling you to slow it down. Hectic work schedules and traumatic regular habits of smoking and drinking can make you hollow from the inside. Drugs are never an option. They must be treated naturally for a permanent effect.

Causes of Panic Attacks:

There can be many reasons behind panic attacks, like:

  1. Phobias: Most attacks are prompted as a direct result of contact with a phobic situation or object.
  2. Triggering Causes : Personal loss of a loved one, abrupt life changes, etc can cause emotional distress aimed triggering panic attacks.
  3. Environmental factors : Cumulative stress over time, overcautious view of things, the habit of procrastinating, etc are also major causes.

Ayurveda and Its Significance:

Ayurveda is the most ancient system of universal healing through home remedies and natural herbs. It operates on the fundamental Vedic principle of the five elements of the universe.

It is based on the simple analogy of a proper diet, healthy lifestyle and exercise.

Ayurvedic herbs are the best medicine for anxiety as they help maintain balance among the three doshas of the body-Vata, Pitta and Kapha, the elements of body, mind, and spirit. They are natural remedies for depression and anxiety and helps cure ailments from its roots.

Natural Depression and Panic Attack Treatments:

With proper therapy and natural medication, overcoming depression is easy. Some of these treatments include:

  1. Enough Sleep and Water: Not getting proper sleep can make you cranky and irritated. Set a proper routine and make some changes in your lifestyle like no use of electronic devices and no overworking for a sound sleep. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  2. Eat Healthy: Folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids help ease depression. Add salmon, tuna, spinach, and avocado to your diet to get these nutritional values. Drink vegetable juice and have your food warm and cooked. Vatas don't flourish on cold food.
  3. Proper Exercise: Simply walk and breathe in the open natural air a few times a week. It releases feel-good chemicals termed endorphins. It provides long-term benefits to cure anxiety and depression.

Natural Herbs for Curing Panic Attacks:

Herbal remedies are the best anxiety treatment in Ayurveda. Some of them include:

  1. Kava: It helps relax the brain and body, allowing allowing the person to calm down. Its roots are known for their anesthetic and sedative qualities. It can be consumed as a herbal tea.
  2. Chamomile: A cup of Chamomile tea is the best medicine for anxiety if you're having a jittery moment. It soothes the mind and helps the panic disappear. However , it should not be taken by lactating or pregnant women as it can
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