Logan Airport Is Implementing Measures To Prevent The Transmission Of Contagious Illnesses

Preventing the spread of infectious diseases is the current focus for numerous airports nationwide, including Boston Logan International Airport. The aim is to avert situations akin to the initial spread of the coronavirus during the pandemic. This heightened preventative initiative coincides with the resurgence of seasonal illnesses like the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Notably, Boston Logan, among four major airports, is intensifying measures due to its status as a key hub for international travelers.

What's going on? In 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rolled out the Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance program (TGS) to spot new COVID variants early on. They achieved this through voluntary nasal swabs of passengers and testing airport wastewater.

Recently, the CDC revealed an expansion of the program, now covering over 30 additional viruses and bacteria, such as the flu and RSV. Wentian Chan, a frequent international traveler, commented, "The CDC may not be flawless, but it's the best we've got." The CDC has joined forces with companies such as Ginko Bioworks and XpresCheck to collaborate on this effort.

The CEO of XpresCheck, in a statement released on Tuesday, emphasized the importance of ongoing testing as air travel surpasses pre-pandemic levels. "The data we gather is crucial in safeguarding our nation against emerging virus threats," the CEO mentioned.

However, not everyone shares the same enthusiasm. Stalin Duran, a frequent international traveler, expressed concerns about potential delays: "It sounds like it would cause a lot of delays. I'm not worried about things like that. If it's meant to happen, it'll happen."

Apart from Boston, this new program is also being introduced in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The testing and sampling phase is anticipated to continue for several months, although a definite end date has not yet been announced.