In the news the last few days have been multiple reports of people getting sick on planes. But not just one person, LOTS of people.

Southwest plane

Credit: Southwest Airlines, Stephen M Keller

An Emirates flight from Dubai on Wednesday sent 10 passengers on board to the hospital in New York City with the flu, according to the Associated Press (AP). Two American Airlines flights that landed in Philadelphia yesterday (September 6), one from Paris and one from Munich, also reported multiple passengers with flu-like symptoms and fevers. All had been in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, according to AP.

And news this morning from Southwest that passengers on four Texas flights in August may have been exposed to the measles. A passenger from North Texas on the flights was later diagnosed with illness, according to the Houston Health Department, which is notifying affected passengers in the Houston area.

“The traveler did not leave the airport or visit any airport restaurants or venues and only stayed in a waiting area for about an hour each day,” said a Houston Department of Health news release.

Southwest Airlines told me that they are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to notify anyone who may have been exposed.

Here are the flights, according to Southwest:

Date: Tuesday 21AUG18

Flight #5               Dallas (Love Field) to Houston (Hobby)

Flight #9               Houston (Hobby) to Harlingen

Date: Wednesday 22AUG18

Flight #665            Harlingen to Houston (Hobby)

Flight #44              Houston (Hobby) to Dallas (Love Field)

Measles, which is highly contagious, involves symptoms like high fever, rash, cough and runny nose and symptoms could appear as late as September 12, according to the Houston Health Department.

Have you been immunized? Children should get two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Two doses of the vaccine are 97% effective against measles, said the Houston Health Department.

How to Avoid Getting Sick on a Plane

While I am no doctor :), what we try to do is the following:

  • Bring santizing wipes to wipe down our seat, tray table and arm rests
  • Use hand santizer gel repeatedly
  • Drink lots of water so you don’t get dehydrated (we never get on board a flight without a BIG bottle of water; I’ve been stuck on a plane before with no water and it’s no fun!)

I don’t usually get sick (I’m sure I’m jinxing myself by saying that!) and that’s our usual protocol. I suppose you could wear one of those mouth masks as well if you’re really concerned or carry one and put it on if everyone starts coughing around you!

What do you do to avoid getting sick on a plane?

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