The best ways to avoid falling ill after a long-haul flight

An airplane can be a true bacteria party in the sky. Germ paradise. And, on the flip-side a germaphobe's nightmare.

And with the recent outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, we can't help but wonder what airlines are doing to up hygiene on planes. 

But no one wants to reach their holiday or work destination after a 10 hour flight feeling under the weather. No less be quarantined! 

We asked you on Twitter whether you ever get sick on a long-haul flight, you said: 

So, it's fair to say it's a pretty common occurrence under normal circumstances. But are the surfaces that'll make you most susceptible to falling ill?

The tray table, the flush button behind the toilet, the over-head air vents and your seat belt can all contribute to you falling ill on a plane. Oh, and also that coughing passenger behind you barking spit all night long! Coronavirus-spit?!


According to the results of a microbiological study commissioned by Travel Math, the tray table on the back of seats tested the highest for presence of bacteria with 2 155 colony-forming units per square inch. So what do you do to avoid you don't consume your in-flight meal with a side dish of bacteria?

Wipe down and wash up.

CNN reports that airlines sanitise as thoroughly as they can, and that there has been a significant uptick in the requirements and levels of disinfection, spraying and fumigation of the cabin since the outbreak. Many airlines are also implementing regular fogging procedures and are deep-cleaning and sterilising water systems and are replacing air filters in addition to standard cleaning procedures. However, ultimately there is just so much airlines can do to up the hygiene on planes. 

Hand-washing is still the most important and significant way to avoid being infected. Touching your eyes, mouth, etc. with infected hands will put you at high risk. 

The power is almost literally in your hands!

Anti-bacterial wipes or gel is great for wiping surfaces like tray tables and flush buttons, down. While using the gel on your hands or purely just washing your hands regularly is another effective way to protect yourself from falling ill on a plane, says Travel and Leisure.

READ: Why airlines can kick off sick passengers before a flight

Frommer's also notes that if you avoid touching too many surfaces in the bathroom in particular, and if you wipe down your tray table area and wash your hands after touching commonly used surfaced, you should be have a lowered risk of catching the virus.

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