This year’s flu season has been brutal and deadly and folks are still getting sick. If you’re planning to travel by air, the odds of contacting people already infected with the flu dramatically increase. Fractl, a marketing and research company based in South Florida, recently conducted a study at three major U.S. airports.
It wasn’t pretty.
Step back from that ticketing kiosk and pull out the antibacterial wipes!
The researchers found that the self-help ticketing kiosks contained the highest germ count by far. Of any surface tested, the kiosks outstripped even the flush button on airplane toilets by an almost 3 to 1 margin. They discovered way more flu-causing germs all over airports than in the average bathroom or kitchen. 18 surfaces located inside airports and airplanes were tested for germs, and the results were startling.
Here’s How to Fight the Flu Virus at Airports and on Planes
Wipe down that kiosk with antibacterial wipes, as well as any communal surfaces with which you might come into contact. Does it matter if you look slightly obsessive? Certainly not, especially when compared to getting sick with the flu! Since the flu virus will live on a hard surface for about 24 hours, it’s a good idea to use a bacteria-killing wipe on items such as tray tables and armrests. And your hands. A lot.
It’s also a good idea to keep your air vent on, which will increase the circulation of air in front of you and perhaps repel air laden with flu germs. Another way to avoid contact with flu carriers is to stay out of the crowded lines. Wait until you can stroll to your seat all by yourself before you board the plane.
Use a nasal spray to keep your mucous membranes moist. When those membranes are dry, you are more vulnerable to respiratory viruses.
Finally, caffeine and alcohol tend to dehydrate your body and make the immune system less effective, so embrace a drowsy and sober flight.
The prevalence and intensity of this season’s flu epidemic remains a mystery
This current prevalent strain of flu isn’t different enough from previous seasons to be considered a new variety of flu. Researchers are working hard to find out what makes this year’s flu so mysterious and deadly. “We have a lot to learn still about influenza,” said Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s acting director. “It’s a wake-up call about how severe influenza can be, and why we can never let down our guard.”
According to the National Institute of Health, the best flu prevention is still a vaccination shot, and it’s not too late to get one. In addition to getting that vaccination, wash your hands frequently. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, so you don’t transfer any virus into your system from your hands.
This has been a terrible flu season and I advise precautionary measures. I hope you’ll find some helpful tips here to make your flight “flu-safe”. Let me know what you think. Thaïs
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