Flying Soon? If You Do *This* On A Plane, You’re Probably Gonna Get Sick

Plan ahead, and all that.

Bridesmaids on a plane

Ah, flying. Fewer things are exciting has stowing your luggage in the overhead compartment as you jet off on your holibobs. Except when the plane is cold.

Those tiny overhead air-conditioning systems have some serious power, and you might find yourself tempted to shut it off mid-flight. But don’t.

According to Dr. Mark Gendreau, medical director and vice chair of emergency medicine at Lahey Medical Center-Peabody in Massachusetts, air conditioning on airplanes helps to keep airborne infections under control.

Speaking to Travel + Leisure, he said, “For airborne viruses, it is incredibly important to ventilate, since ventilation becomes your main means of control besides isolating the affected person.” So if you switch off the air, the germs have much easier access to your nose and mouth.

He also added that, “The flow pattern of air on an aircraft doesn’t necessarily work front to back, or back to front. It’s actually compartmentalised into various sections”, so ,“the air that you’re typically breathing and exposed to is usually anywhere from two to five rows surrounding your seat.”

The airborne viruses could be coming from people sitting *way* ahead of you, so there really is no escaping unless you keep the air-con on.

Extra layers and a blanket it is, so!

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