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Avoid the In-Flight Flu

By Scrubadoo‘s Jen Hankin

Traveling for the holidays? Flying to visit family and friends? Discover how to avoid the dreaded in-flight flu!

This time of year is always tough to avoid feeling under the weather: the stress, the colder weather, extra going-out plans, family time, etc. all contribute to a little touch of the flu. Even worse, traveling! Every time I soar to 30,000 feet, I manage to end up with a snuffle, tickle, or pimple. And it’s no fun to be sick for the holidays!

There’s several reason why traveling and getting sick go hand-in-hand. For starter, the air quality while flying is easier for the spread of disease. The air is very dry and viruses thrive in low-humidity environments. In addition, high altitudes create stress for your body, resulting in fatigue and tiredness allowing your immune system to be at its weakest.

Steps to Prevention

  1. Hydrate. Drinking water and keeping nasal passages moist with a saline spray can reduce your risk of infection.
  2. Clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. We often infect ourselves, touching mouth, nose or eyes with our own hands that have picked up something.
  3. Use a disinfecting wipe to clean off tray tables before using.
  4. Avoid seat-back pockets.
  5. Open your air vent and aim it so it passes just in front of your face. Filtered airplane air can help direct airborne contagions away from you.
  6. Change seats if you end up near a cougher, sneezer or someone who looks feverish. That may not be possible on very full flights, but worth a try. One sneeze can produce up to 30,000 droplets that can be propelled as far as six feet.
  7. Raise concerns with the crew if air circulation is shut off for an extended period.
  8. Avoid airline pillows and blankets (if you find them).

-Source: The Wall Street Journal

Traveling this holiday? Tell us where. We’d love to hear about you vacation plans!

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