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The Travel Detective

Excess Baggage: The Fear of Flying and Diseases

Locations in this article:  Hong Kong London, England
When it comes to travel, the worst four letter word that starts with “f”, is “fear,” especially when it comes to disease.

So are you afraid of flying because of a disease you might catch when you travel?
Consider this. Americans have a 1 in 3.9 million chance of dying from ebola. Those are odds that I’ll take. Do you know why? You have a better chance of having your pajamas catch on fire (by the way, that’s 1 in 935,000).
So what about bird flu, and SARS, and hoof and mouth disease? I remember those. I went to London in the height of the hoof and mouth disease scare. Was I met at the airport with a horse throbbing out the mouth? I was not. And I came back.
And during SARS, that’s when I went to Hong Kong. Hotel occupancy at my hotel was at 3%. Do you know what that meant? The staff-to-Greenberg ratio was out of control! Did I have a great time or what? So before you leave and travel by air, talk to your doctor, have a conversation, be smart, and get out of town.
By Peter Greenberg for