How Not to Get Sick from a Flight
March 31, 2011
A researcher who took swabs of various surfaces on planes in 2007 found the surfaces contaminated with the superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), norovirus, and E. coli. Norovirus and E. coli can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms and illness, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
While no data exists suggesting that people are more likely to get sick on a plane than elsewhere, it still is a confined space that can facilitate transfer of germs like this, as well as diseases such as influenza. So what can you do to protect yourself while you fly?
While numerous devices and germ-fighting concoctions can be purchased to disinfect surfaces you might touch on a plane, perhaps the best defense is simply washing your hands, experts say.
USA today also offers a few tips to help travelers avoid bacteria and viruses that could make you sick:
- Be wary of the airplane lavatory. Numerous studies have shown that these are teeming with E. coli on almost every surface.
- Sanitize your seat. Pack disinfectant wipes and wipe down any surface you're using.
- Protect yourself from sick passengers. Don't rub your eyes or touch your nose or mouth -- that's how many diseases spread.
- Don't go barefoot at security checkpoints. Wear or bring socks to avoid athlete's foot and other fungal infections.
For more of their suggestions, click on the USA Today link below.