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Travel Tip: Getting On a Plane During Cold and Flu Season

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doctorAre you one of those people who gets sick every time you travel? If so, you probably dread getting on a plane during cold and flu season. But let’s dispel a few myths:

The recycled air on planes isn’t going to make you sick. Modern airplanes are equipped with HEPA filters that capture 99.9 percent of particles—that includes bacteria and larger viruses.

But what CAN make you sick are the germs that linger on high-touch areas: armrests, tray tables, door handles. So bring along a pack of antibacterial wipes to clean those surfaces.

However, those wipes aren’t the only answer. In fact, they can actually spread bacteria or cause remaining germs to multiply. So what you really want to do is rely on good old soap and water to keep yourself protected, and to stop the germs you’re carrying in their tracks.

And the other big factor on airplanes is that dry air, which can make you more vulnerable to infection.

Don’t just drink a lot of water; use saline nose drops to stay hydrated.

It’s all simple stuff….but it’s effective.

For more information, visit the travel health archives.

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