Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sky High Germs

When you work in a long tube at 40,000 feet, surrounded by hundreds of people in very close proximity, good health is a necessity, not a luxury.  It's not something that I take for granted, and I have always been proactive in taking care of my health.
I have always tried to eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, drink lots of water, and just take care of myself in general.  It's not always easy though, when you live on the road.
Restaurant food is the norm, healthy foods aren't always readily available.  Sleep patterns are frequently irregular, as a schedule changes back and forth from day flying to night flying.  Germs are rampant in the cabin, and that is especially true for those that passengers bring on with them.

Astroprof sent me a link to this CNN article about germs in the cabin.  It spells out what flight attendants have long known:  that people travel when they are sick, thus contaminating people around them.  The article contains a list of things that can be done to lessen the possibility of becoming infected with something, and most of the items on the list are common sense whether you are on the ground or in the air.

It is the time of year for germs to be running rampant, so a little precaution the next time you fly should keep you healthy, and me as well.


Alan Fleming said...

This reminds me that it was actually healthier to fly when smoking was allowed on aircraft. Because back then, because of the smoke, the entire air in the craft was replaced every 6-10 minutes.

This would wash out the airborne bugs too, wouldn't it?

Of course, getting cold air in and heating it up to cabin temperature costs fuel. A significant amount. That's the reason for smoking being banned - not the health angle. Cost. And that's the reason for your colds too.

Astroprof said...

A couple years ago, I recall reading a report where a group of scientists took flights all over the place carrying CO2 sensors with them. On long flights, the CO2 level in the cabin crept up to relatively high concentrations.

Fly Girl said...

Alan: While I can appreciate a differing point of view, I'm having a hard time believing that a smoke-full environment is healthier than a smoke-free one.

The air in the cabin is still recirculated. That hasn't stopped just because of the smoking ban.