Health & Fitness

Avoiding Airborne Bugs

We put together some of the top tips of how to avoid getting sick during a flight

Are you tired of getting on a plane to go on vacation, only to find within a day you are sick with a cold or other respiratory infection? Well, so are we! We want to provide you with a list of common sense things we think you should do to avoid being sick after flying the friendly skies:

  • Drink lots of water. After you go through security, stop and buy a large bottle of water. Why? Hydration keeps your throat and nose moist, giving you a better chance to fight off germs and bacteria.
  • Purchase a saline nasal mist to keep the nasal passage moist, boosting your defense against airborne germs.
  • Bring your own food onboard. Over the years, there have been reports from the FDA about in-flight meals being prepared in unsanitary conditions.
  • If you sit beside a person who is coughing, ask if you can move. Most of us are too timid to ask and make the person feel bad, but by moving to another seat, you can lower your risk of becoming sick.
  • Don’t close your air vent. You may have heard that air vents recirculate dirty air, but that isn’t true. It is safer to have the air on. The cold air coming from the vents is filtered, and the circulation helps to keep germs from landing. Fresh air is drawn in from outside the plane into the cabin through HEPA filters, reducing bacteria and germs.
  • Bring disinfectant wipes. Rhinoviruses can live up to 3 hours on surfaces such as tray tables and armrests, so wipe them down before using them.
  • Avoid the seat pocket. It has been reported that germs live in the seat pocket in front of you. Avoid placing your belongings in them.
  • Aisle seats are the germiest! They contain the most germs as people lean or touch the seats as they walk by – especially in flight on their way back from the washroom!
  • Remember the basics: wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, keep your hands away from your face and avoid touching your eyes and nose. Also, avoid the airlines pillows and blankets unless they are new and sealed in plastic.
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