Are you a germ freak? Do you have a favorite smell of disinfectant? We like to have our hand clean, especially during these times, but we should keep proper hands hygiene at all times.
You may still encounter occasionally colds, coughs or gastric upsets despite your germaphobic rituals, but there are also scientific facts that agree that risks of getting sick are reduced when traveling.
Did you know that supermodel Naomi Campbell’s pre-flight routine involves gloves and disinfectant wipe? And she is not the only one. Hoping to avoid picking up a bug from their tray table, armrest or screen, we can see many planes and train travelers cleaning the area around their seats. The question is: is this kind of clean-up effective?
Scientific Facts About Germs
David Denning, Professor of Infectious Diseases in Global Health at the University of Manchester affirms: “It’s not wrong to wipe these things down, but it’s probably unnecessary,”. The likelihood of transmitting microorganisms comes down to their numbers and how long they can survive outside the body, and in this scenario, both are likely to be low. wiping down surfaces might reduce the risk of contracting some illnesses, but your likelihood of falling ill probably doesn’t hinge on it although you’re inclined to clean.
Professor Denning explains: “Norovirus and rotavirus [both contagious viruses that can cause vomiting and diarrhea] are transmitted on hands and surfaces,”. “Most of these viruses don’t last very long on those surfaces. The chance of catching a cold or a diarrheal illness from the plane or from a train carriage itself is low.”
It is thought that aisle seats receive more contact, and more potential contamination, from other passengers and there are people who avoid germy on-board toilets and try to remain in a window seat for the whole journey. This tactic could be reassuring, but on long plane journeys, it runs counter to other health advice and it doesn’t help you avoid the majority of germs.
Tips to avoid getting sick in the airplane
When they hear an eruption of coughing nearby many air travelers get a sinking feeling. You might be hearing the symptoms of asthma, allergies or various non-contagious chronic coughs, don’t get worried without having a good reason.
However, if you’re on a plane seated close to a flu-ridden passenger, there’s a risk of contracting their illness. Professor Denning advises: “You want to sit behind that person rather than in front of them because they’re projecting their viruses that way,”. The best line of defense is frequently washing your hands with soap and water. People generally touch their hands to their face more than three times an hour, which can transmit bugs directly to their mouth, nose or eyes.
Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is still the most effective way of ridding your hands of bacteria and viruses, but a squirt of microorganism-killing gel is a convenient prelude to eating and drinking on the road, especially where hand-washing facilities aren’t available.
Now you have the scientific facts about the germs and how to get protected. Clean your hands regularly and use the microorganism-killing gel.