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How do you prevent you from getting sick when you fly


That feeling when the person on the other side of the aisle starts coughing up a lung.

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There are many theories about why people get sick after traveling with airplanes, but most are myths. It is not the recycled air; it is not the plane food; and it is not (usually) poor air quality in the cabin – because most aircraft have strong filter systems.

Just and simple, you get sick on planes because you are in close contact with other people and their germs for hours. You touch dirty surfaces that have been touched just before you by a cold-ridden toddler. You use public toilets and sit on chairs and eat from tray tables and hold onto handrails that hundreds of thousands of people use every day.

You breathe in the same air as the people in your aisle who, given the layout of most planes, breathe literally inches away from your face (and cough and sneeze).

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How to prevent getting sick in airplanes

Because the primary reason people get sick in airplanes is contact with germ-affected surfaces and air, the primary defense is to minimize contact. When you fly, you come into an environment where you have little control, but one thing you can control is how clean your own body, property, and spaces remain.

Use common sense first

Most of the resources in your arsenal are personal health precautions – doing things that everyone should do if they want to avoid pathogens in a public environment.

Wash your hands. Many: You've heard this advice all your life, but that's only because it works. Washing your hands is your first defense against harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, and the CDC report that regular hand washing can prevent up to 21% of respiratory tract infections.

Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth: Remember that the transmission of viruses has more to do with your hands. If you pick up a virus from an infected surface, you can easily spread that virus to yourself by touching sensitive areas such as your eyes, nose and mouth. Keep your hands away from your face for a reduced risk of getting sick.

Wear antimicrobial wet wipes: Handrails, armrests, chairs, backrests, trays … All of these surfaces are touched by millions of people, most of whom are unlikely to wipe them. Keep antimicrobial wipes on hand to clean surfaces before you use them.

Also bring hand sanitizer: You will come across moments when you cannot get to a sink and soap whenever you want. Take a small container with hand sanitizer for easy cleaning wherever you are.

Take your own pillow and blanket: Some airlines offer blankets and pillows for & # 39; at night or for very long flights. If I tried to prevent getting sick, I would not even consider accepting this offer. Take your own pillow and blanket with you if you want to relax, because you never know whether the last coughed passenger will fit in his pillow.

Get a good night's sleep before you fly: The strength of your immune system decreases when you walk on vapors. To keep your immune system ready to fight infectious diseases, ensure that you get adequate quality sleep prior to your flight, and especially the night before. A normal evening routine can help you set up a healthy sleep cycle.

Hydrate and eat healthily before your flight: Just as sleep affects your immune system, so do your diet and hydration level. Your body needs vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and water to function properly – if you deprive yourself of these things before traveling by plane, your chance of getting a virus or bacterial infection may increase.

Get vaccinated: The truth is that if you get sick the same day you fly, you probably didn't pick up that virus or infection on the plane. Viral and bacterial infections both have a latency, which means that it may take a while for the symptoms to appear after you are infected. This phenomenon – called an incubation period – can take days for certain viruses, including the flu .

Then add some useful tools and tricks.

Try some of these gadgets and extra tips for an extra layer of germ protection.

PhoneSoap: Not to scold you, but your phone is probably the dirtiest you touch on a given day. Even if you work in a germinated or dirty place. You can certainly erase your screen, but bacteria remain stuck despite these efforts. Enter PhoneSoap, a portable disinfectant that frees your phone from bacteria and viruses with ultraviolet rays. A nice bonus: PhoneSoap charges your phone while it is being cleaned.

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PhoneSoap uses UV-C light to blow bacteria and viruses off the surfaces of your phone.


Plane Aire: If you like the idea of ​​portable cleaning products (such as hand sanitizer), but not the sweeping of aggressive chemicals in your skin, try Plane Aire, a travel mist made exclusively from essential oils. The specific blend of oils in this product reportedly eliminates nearly 100% bacteria on surfaces, but is much softer for your skin.

TrayGuard: This antimicrobial cover fits on the tray table that you use for eating and drinking on airplanes. TrayGuard is food-resistant and chemically-free, and is made from the same materials in FDA-approved and NIOSH-approved face masks and claims that you are protected against viruses, bacteria and fungi that can remain on your tray.

Turn on your air vent: It is a myth that the recycled air in aircraft causes illness – but you still run the risk of pathogens hanging around your face in the air. Switching on your breather (and placing it towards your feet) can help circulate the mentioned bacteria from your nose and mouth.

Choose the window seat: To minimize your exposure to bacteria, you need your exposure to people. This may not be a hard and fast scientific fact, but one study found that sitting in the window seat minimizes passenger contact with other people, potentially reducing the risk of contact with air and direct transfer (skin to skin) . contact) germs.

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Bring your own entertainment: Do yourself a favor and leave the aircraft magazine in the seat pocket. Although they are a good source of entertainment, these magazines can be just as nasty as the seats and armrests in an airplane. Take a good paperback novel with you or watch a movie on the backrest screen (with your own headphones).

Grab a portable humidifier: Part of the reason that so many people get sick on planes is the extremely low humidity in the cabin. With very low humidity, some of our immune defenses paralyze, such as mucus production in our eyes, nasal passages and respiratory tract. A portable humidifier can help restore part of that mucus production as soon as you get to your hotel room.

Use a filtered water bottle: If you want to avoid single-use plastic but also do not want to drink directly from water fountains at airports, consider getting a filtered water bottle . The Astrea One water bottle is our top choice for filtering tap water, which has been proven to remove many chemicals and heavy metals.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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