How to Avoid Getting Sick After Flying
For the second time this year, I (David) have come down with a very nasty respiratory infection after flying that has knocked me flat on my back with a horrific cough and nasty fever.
When we travel, I am ultra-conscious of keeping my hands away from commonly used spaces, I wash my hands frequently, and even carry around a small bottle of hand sanitizer. But even with all of these precautions, I still seem to be getting sick when I fly. Therefore, me thinks, the virus must be transmitting airborne. Consequently, after growing weary of being sick after our travels, I’m going to take on a new defense.
Here’s a few things I learned in a recent University Health News Article:
“With literally billions of people traveling by air every year now, researchers are finally starting to gather and publish more data about the health risks associated with airplane travel. In terms of the common cold, it is now well-accepted that acute respiratory infections are frequently experienced after air travel.
Studies have found a high prevalence and wide array of respiratory viruses in people who have recently traveled. Up to 20 percent of passengers may develop respiratory infections within one week after air travel and that flight attendants have significantly more respiratory infections than those who do not frequently fly.” YIKES!
The article goes on to describe why we get sick when flying, and then prescribes these remedies:
How to Not Get Sick While Flying
“To reduce your risk of getting a respiratory infection while on a flight, here are three specific actions you should take:
- Irrigate your nose (or your children’s) with a saline solution–both before and after the flight–by using a dropper or small squirt bottle. Nasal irrigation with a saline solution helps clean out at least some of the allergen, fungal and viral pathogens from the nose and thus can help to reduce the frequency of infections. Keeping the nasal cavity moist in the dry atmosphere of an airplane cabin is also most beneficial.
- Drink lots of water throughout the flight.
- Take an herbal medicine with immune boosting properties such as Echinacea for a week or two before the flight. Australian researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial to study whether a standardized Echinacea supplement is effective in the prevention of respiratory and other symptoms associated with long flights. They gave 175 adults travelling for 15 to 25 hours Echinacea (root extract, standardized to 4.4 mg alkylamides) or placebo tablets starting 14 days before travel. The Echinacea group had lower respiratory symptom scores compared to placebo during travel. If you’re planning on traveling by air, you can give your own immune system a boost with Echinacea or other immune stimulating natural therapies starting at least two weeks before you travel.”
Lastly, as I am growing very weary of getting sick when I fly, I have decided that I am going to throw down my pride and vanity and wear one of the Breathe Healthy masks pictured above. I just ordered one today. Now, only time will tell if I’ll actually wear it. 😆
How ’bout you? Do you find yourself getting sick when you fly? Share your story in the comments section below.
University Health News Article
Breathe Healthy Mask
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