LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A new study by MIT researchers has found that if there were to be a worldwide pandemic, it probably started at a busy airport like Los Angeles International Airport.

According to the model created by researchers in MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, airports in New York, Los Angeles and Honolulu are the most likely to spread contagious diseases, KNX 1070’s John Brooks reported.

The study says Kennedy Airport in New York and LAX could be global “super spreaders.”

The study notes that public health crises of the past decade, such as the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic that killed about 300,000 people worldwide, have heightened awareness that new viruses or bacteria spread quickly across the globe with the help of air travel.

“Like, if you go to any other country, you have more chance to collect malaria or pox or whatever,” a passersby told KNX 1070.

By ranking the airports, researchers say it will allow authorities to get ahead of a potential pandemic by knowing where to place monitors and controls and get vaccines and treatments to the right places.


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