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How to Protect Yourself from Swine Flu on an Airplane

April 27, 2009 | Posted in: Airline News,Passengers,Tips and Tricks,Travel Tips

An excellent article from Dr. Mark Gendreau, who writes for the New York Times (in addition to his medical practice and teaching).

Lots of good stuff – and you can see it all here.

A reassuring thought: Getting infected isn’t all that easy on a plane. Those at greatest risk are those with “close personal contact” with a contagious person – in other words, if the sick toddler next to you has a sneezing fit. You’re also at risk if you are “seated within two rows of a contagious passenger”.

Health strategy: Wash your hands. A lot. Dr. Gendreau adds that studies indicate some hand sanitizers situated in public places can really help – but be sure any sanitizer you use is at least 50% alcohol, so it’ll be effective against viruses.

3 Responses to “How to Protect Yourself from Swine Flu on an Airplane”

  1. David Z says:

    What a coincidence on the hand washing part. I just came across a Wikipedia article on someone who seems to have started that practice, albeit he got ridiculed a lot during his time:


  2. BA says:

    Airlines personnel, buy not following professional guidelines, are causing pandemic spread of disease and possible deaths.

    I was an infection control practitioner. Recently, on a Delta flight, I witnessed the usual coughing, sniffling, nose wiping behavior of passengers, who then touched every seatback as they moved through the cabin. The Flight Attendants touched the same places. As they dispensed beverages, they leaned on these same seatbacks and their hands met the fingers of the passengers as they picked up more pathogens. Then they plunged their filthy, contaminated hands into the beverage cart ice, without using the MANDATORY ice scoops (which would prevent their hands from touching the ice eventually in passengers’ cups). I asked, “Doesn’t Delta provide ice scoops? (that every restaurant MUST use)” And the FA replied, “We prefer to not use them.” I guess they prefer to cause worldwide pandemics and deaths intead.

  3. Rick Seaney says:

    Your note reminds everyone of the importance of that simple little act: washing your hands. Thanks for the reminder.

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