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How To Avoid Infection 101

How To Avoid Infection On An Airplane

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According to the New York Times:

Though many people worry about air quality in planes, it is the shared surfaces touched by passengers throughout the day that often transmit germs.... In 2007, Charles P. Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, swabbed airplane bathrooms and tray tables on eight flights to see what bugs might be lurking onboard. Four out of six tray tables tested positive for the superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and norovirus, the highly contagious group of viruses that can cause a miserable one- or two-day bout of vomiting, diarrhea and cramping, was found on one tray. Most of the bathrooms he swabbed had E. coli bacteria. Thirty percent of sinks, flush handles and faucet handles had E. coli, as did 20 percent of toilet seats, according to his research.

The best way to ward off infection in an airplane is to wash your hands before touching your face and before you eat or drink anything. Liberal use of hand sanitizers or disinfectant wipes can also help ward off disease.

There are a variety of products on the market that may help although nothing seems to be as effective as the above advice about washing and not touching your face unless your hands are clean. For instance:

  • An air purifier to hang around your neck. One is made by Wein Products: offsite link
  • At the web site of travel supply company, Magellan, you can find an assortment of products. See offsite link, click on "In Flight Health"

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