Air travel increases over the holidays meaning larger crowds in airports and airplanes across the country. Knowing ways to help ward off illness over the upcoming travel season may help to keep the holidays merry.
“Travelers need to cover their mouths while sneezing or coughing and wash their hands regularly,” Dr. Mark Dowell of Rocky Mountain Infectious Diseases said. “Airborne, vitamin C, zinc, etc. aren’t effective at cutting down the risk of illness. Nothing substitutes for hand washing and regular use of hand sanitizing gel.”
Be aware of what you touch especially in high traffic areas like bathrooms, elevators, escalators and handrails. Be mindful of not touching your face. Certain viruses can live on hands for hours. Make an effort to wash hands during flights before consuming food and after leaving the plane. Carry an alcohol-based product designed for hands when traveling for times when it’s difficult to access soap and water.
Low humidity in airplane cabins due to flying elevation may reduce levels of mucus in noses and throats which is part of the body’s natural defense against germs. Staying hydrated while flying is important to help your body fight against several problems caused by dehydration including constipation, headaches, fatigue and cramps. Drink plenty of water before and while traveling.
Extra vigilance and focus on hygiene can help make the holiday season healthy for frequent fliers.