Protect Yourself From Germs While Traveling
Visiting an airport typically comes with a few unwanted experiences, such as fighting off germs.
Since infectious disease such as influenza and the measles are often related to airport travel, some preventive tactics may help you stay healthy this winter.
“It’s not any different than when you’re in the mall or the subway—you’re going to get exposed to a lot of different things,” Amesh Adalja, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University, tells SELF.
“The common sense of washing your hands often goes a long way.”
It's normal to encounter a ton of bacteria when traveling and they're often harmless.
It's disease-causing pathogens you need to worry about.
Since airports and airplanes are full of international travelers, there's a significant chance that there could be some pathogens floating around on surfaces that you're more than likely going to touch.
Self.com published their top 8 tactics to avoid infectious disease while traveling:
- Avoid any sort of doorknob or handle: Whether you pushed a revolving door to get into the airport or grabbed a handle on the airport shuttle, you should wash your hands ASAP.
- Escalator handrails are one of the most germ-ridden places in airports since so many people hold onto them for safety purposes. But after disembarking from the escalator, track down a bathroom or whip out your hand sanitizer to get rid of some of those germs.
- Security bins: If we had to write a zombie movie, the contagion would start with the security bins. Unless you’re into the idea of all those germs hitching a ride onto the plane with you, wash your hands once you’re through security.
- Armrests in the waiting areas are super germy places given that a ton of other people also touch them. If you have time prior to boarding, scrub your hands prior to boarding. You can also try going over them with disinfectant wipes before touching them.
- Literally, every surface in a bathroom, whether on the plane or in the airport, are loaded with germs. No matter how well and often bathrooms are cleaned, the experts want you to diligently handwash.
- Plane tray tables are germ-laden surfaces, but as Dr. Smith points out, it’s pretty hard to avoid touching them if you plan on eating, drinking, or working as you travel. Whatever you do, don’t eat your snack directly off of them.
- Inflight entertainment is great, but getting sick from the touchscreen isn’t. Keep that bottle of hand sanitizer nearby while browsing movies or watching your flight map, or wash your hands once you’re done using the screen.
- Anything an obviously sick person touches. If you touch something that a person who’s sneezing, or otherwise seems ill just touched, you should wash your hands as soon as possible.
Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly encourage international travelers to be appropriately immunized for each destination.
And to bring whichever medicines you may need during your trip.
Pre-trip counseling sessions can be scheduled with a local pharmacy at Vax-Before-Travel.
And, vaccine discounts can be found here.
Related travel vaccine news articles:
- Which Airline Seat Is Best to Avoid Infectious Diseases?
- Visiting Taiwan? Check Your Measles Immunity Before Flying
- Airplanes or Airports, Which Spreads More Flu Virus?
- Germs Are On Airplanes and In the Terminals Spreading Infectious Diseases