ravelers often complain of illness, particularly
head colds, in the days following a flight. While a plane’s poor
air quality often is blamed for the resulting sniffles, the close
proximity of fellow flyers might be the real culprit.
According to a July 2003 report by the Washington, D.C.-based
Center for the Advancement of Health (www.cfah.org
), germs are passed more easily in
confined quarters, plus the stress of travel taxes passengers’
resistance and makes them more susceptible to viruses.
Simply staying calm on board might be one secret to avoiding
illness. Other tactics to help you keep bugs at bay include
drinking lots of water and limiting alcohol, which can be
dehydrating. Taking frequent walks during the flight can prevent
potentially lethal blood clots from forming, while washing hands
regularly or using an alcohol-based hand-sanitizing solution can
help you avoid the germs that linger on sinks and other
Eating well and getting enough rest during the trip also are
smart ways to keep resistance up and help the body battle the bugs.