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Skip the airplane plague: Smart ways to avoid germs on planes

"Regina Hammons" (2020-02-08)


id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> That feeling when the person across the aisle starts coughing up a lung.

3 years agoGetty Images There are lots of theories about why people fall ill after traveling on airplanes, but most are myths. It's not the recycled air; it's not the airplane food; and it's not (usually) poor cabin air quality -- because, well, most planes have strong filtering systems. 

Plain and simple, you get sick on planes because you are in close contact with other people and their germs for hours at a time. You touch grimy surfaces that, just moments before you, may have been touched by a cold-ridden toddler. You use public restrooms and sit on chairs and eat off of tray tables and hold onto handrails used by hundreds of thousands of people per day. 

You breathe the same air as the people in your aisle who, given the layout of most planes, are breathing (and coughing and sneezing) literally inches away from your face. 

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Since the primary reason that people get sick on planes is contact with germ-infested surfaces and air, the primary defense is minimizing contact. When you fly, you enter an environment where you have little control, but one thing you can control is how clean your own body, property and spaces stay. 

First, use common sense
The majority of Small SEO Tools in your arsenal involve personal health precautions -- doing things that anyone should do if they want to avoid pathogens in any public environment. 

Wash your hands. A lot: You've heard this advice over and over again all your life, but that's only because it works. Washing your hands is your first defense to harmful bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, and the CDC reports that regular hand-washing can prevent up to 21% of respiratory infections.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth: Don't forget that the transmission of viruses has more to do with your hands. If you pick up a virus from an infected surface, you can easily transmit that virus to yourself by touching sensitive areas like your eyes, nose and mouth. Keep your hands away from your face for a reduced risk of getting sick.