How to Dodge the Flu While You’re Flying [VIDEO]

How to Dodge the Flu While You’re Flying [VIDEO]

We’re about to enter that perfect confluence of seasons that put you at risk of contracting the flu: holiday & travel season, and the flu season itself.

Getting this season’s flu shot is important and should be at the top of your list. After you’ve done that, though, you can take other precautions to minimize your chances of being exposed to the influenza virus, especially if you’ll be traveling by airplane. Here are good practices to adopt:

  • Wipe down your tray table and armrest. Many airlines clean these surfaces once a day, but not necessarily between every flight.
  • Turn on your air vent. You’ll be directing filtered air toward your seat, so if someone near you sneezes, their germs won’t hang in the air around your face for as long as they would without the air vent turned on.
  • Let others board the plane first. When you’re bunched up in line waiting to get on the plane, germs can easily travel from one person to another. Don’t willingly crowd together with everyone else. Get in line when it’s thinned out.
  • Choose a window seat. It’s farthest away from aisle traffic, so you have less exposure to others on the airplane.
  • Don’t drink a lot of caffeine or alcohol on the airplane. This will tend to dehydrate you, which lowers the effectiveness of your immune system.
  • Use a nasal spray every two hours. This will keep your mucous membranes moist. Says Nicholas Testa, who appeared on a segment on “Good Morning America,” as soon as your mucous membranes in your nose and mouth start to dry out, we lose one of the most valuable defenses for preventing respiratory viruses.”

Click on the image below to watch the ABC News video:

airplane tray table

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