How to Avoid Getting Sick on that Next Flight

AdventHealth Centra Care knows many families are taking advantage of the long weekend ahead and heading to their favorite vacation spot. Flying can be a quick and easy way to travel but unfortunately, planes are a top spot for picking up unwanted germs that can lead to the flu and other viruses.

When you’re on a plane you are in close contact with other people and their germs for hours at a time. You use public restrooms and sit on chairs and eat off of tray tables and hold onto handrails used by hundreds of thousands of people per day.  According to the Journal of Environmental Health Research found that colds may be 113 times more likely to be transmitted on a plane versus the ground.

Some surfaces tend to be more germ-infested than others. The most likely place to find flu and other viruses are seat belt buckles, tray tables, seats, overhead air vents, and toilet flush buttons.

Tips to avoid getting sick while flying include:

  • Stay hydrated – drinking plenty water will not only help counter dehydration but can also help fortify your natural immune mechanisms to function better.
  • Keeps your hands clean – wash and disinfect hands before eating, after using the bathroom, and after blowing your nose.  If you’re traveling on a plane, be sure to disinfect your tray table and seat.
  • Cover your cough – make sure you are using proper cough etiquette and travelers with weak immune systems should wear a mask when sitting in airplanes or walking through the airport.
  • Move your overhead air vent – this will steer germs away from your face.  Either move the air vent so that air is flowing on your hands when they’re in your lap, or shut off the air vent completely.
  • Give your immune system a boost –  consider taking vitamin C and other immunity building supplements a few days prior to flying, providing your body with a boost of vitamins.


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