Skip to Content

How To Avoid Catching The Flu On A Plane

La Crosse, WI, United States / KICKS 106.3
How To Avoid Catching The Flu On A Plane

Alright, so I’m not OCD per say, but I do wash my hands plenty. I will use my sleeve to open a bathroom door (and others) in public places if paper towels aren’t nearby. I may move my water to another spot on my desk if someone is hovering over it talking. Hey, I just like taking preventative maintenance from potentially getting ill!

These types of considerations are especially important when you are in areas with a LOT of people. More so when you are sitting next to those people in very close quarters! This goes for being on the airplane and in the airport at the gate. I recently went on a vacation out west and I actually sat next to a woman that was coughing throughout the flight. She was using tissues, and covering up in a blanket so it was obvious she wasn’t feeling well. We didn’t have much of a conversation (on purpose lol), and I happily didn’t get sick. Now, I have a pretty good immune system, but using some common sense and taking a few precautions around others can go a long way.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Jan. 13 said it is widespread in every U.S. state except for Hawaii, with a total of 74,562 diagnosed cases. The center reported that 30 children have died from the viral illness.

Those numbers are scary — making this the worst flu season in recent years — but as long as you’re healthy before departure, you don’t need to cancel your travel plans. There are a few steps you can take to help yourself avoid catching any illnesses on a plane.

Choose a window seat over an aisle seat

The main name of the game is prevention. This means avoiding highly contaminated areas and close quarters with many other people. Fewer people passing by means fewer opportunities to catch germs. Travelers should also avoid waiting in tight lines to board the plane.

Pack a small bottle of nasal spray (often available at airport convenience stores, if you forget) to stay well-lubricated.

Packing a few extra items could make a big difference. “One of the things we’ve noticed, particularly on airplanes, is that as soon as your mucous membranes, particularly in your nose and your mouth, start to dry out, we lose one of the most valuable defenses for preventing respiratory viruses,” Dr. Nicholas Testa told ABC News.

Having a small vial of antibacterial gel or wipes will help you kill any germs in your area before you even come in contact.

The tray table is one of the dirtiest places on the plane. Whereas the bathroom is subject to mandatory cleanings, no one is guaranteed to be wiping down the tray tables between services.

Turn on your overhead vent

And contrary to popular belief, you should actually turn on your overhead vent. When someone sneezes, those germs can quickly spread to those in their immediate area. Turning on an air vent increases air circulation and can move germs away if you’re sitting next to someone who might be sick.



Comments are closed.