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Airplanes and the Flu
Old 01-10-2018, 08:13 AM   #1
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Airplanes and the Flu

This years flu is scary. Deaths of healthy young people from the flu concerns me. We're flying next week to FL. I've been researching and the flu vaccine is 10% effective this year. So, here's what I found:

-Don't touch the storage bin on the back of the seat in front of you. Dirty diapers, used tissues and all sorts of things are put there.
-Turn on the air above your seat.
-I'm thinking about wearing surgical gloves, they force me not to touch my face.
-Drink water, bring a large bottle of water.
-Coat the inside of your nose, there are nasal sprays specifically for this, or lightly coat your nose with vaseline.
-Ask to move if person next to you is coughing or sniffling persistently. It sounds rude but is accepted.

Any other flu avoidance tips are welcome.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:15 AM   #2
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Check out this thread: Anti-viral face mask?
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:41 AM   #3
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I try to get a good night sleep, stay hydrated and use "Airborne".
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:28 AM   #4
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I wipe down my seat area with antibacterial wipes once I sit down.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:40 AM   #5
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I always close those air vents, as I figure they're never cleaned out and are just recirculating years of stale air and whatever prior passengers have exhaled.

I also avoid those touching/using seat-back pockets as they have got to be filthy and never cleaned.

During flu season, I often put those disposable face masks in my handbag/carry-on. If I sense that my fellow travelers might not be in the best of health, I've ducked into a nearby airport restroom and put one on. No one onboard knows if you are keeping your germs in or theirs out.

I've observed other travelers carrying a small package of disposable wipes and the minute they get to their seat they've wiped down most every surface they are apt to touch -- tray table (both sides) and closure hook, seat arms, seat belt (esp. the metal portions), seat back screen and controls, etc.

I'm not sure about wearing disposable gloves...to me it would seem a bit Howard Hughes-ish.

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Old 01-10-2018, 09:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
I always close those air vents, as I figure they're never cleaned out and are just recirculating years of stale air and whatever prior passengers have exhaled.
Here's an article saying never close those vents: Plane air vents: Why you should never turn it off, ever

And another quoting the same guy plus explaining how the ventilation systems work:

Quote:
Here's how the ventilation systems work.

Each of these sections (known as temperature control zones), receives air from overhead distribution nozzles that flows through the length of the cabin. The air exits the plane through a grill that's often located beneath the windows, or where the side walls meet the floor of the plane.

This air then combines with the air outside before going through a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) to clear away dust and microbes before re-entering the plane.

The number of these ventilation zones varies depending on the aircraft, but each zone typically goes through this filtration process 15 to 30 times within the hour, with 50 percent of the air getting re-circulated and 50 percent of the air coming from outside...
Why You Should Always Turn on the Air Vent Above You During a Flight | Travel + Leisure
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:57 AM   #7
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Wearing a cheap mask yourself is supposed to help a little bit, according to the CDC.
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Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
-Ask to move if person next to you is coughing or sniffling persistently. It sounds rude but is accepted.
You should hand them a cheap mask. That would be more likely to work. I can't imagine you can hand off the flu spreader to some other unsuspecting passengers.

Alternatively, whip out your N95 rated mask.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:20 AM   #8
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So who are these healthy young people? And where did you get this 10 % number..flu season is never fun but it happens every year just like Christmas .
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:29 AM   #9
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Wearing a cheap mask yourself is supposed to help a little bit.
With my RMN mask it always gives me an opportunity to run through my "I am not a crook" routine.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:39 AM   #10
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So who are these healthy young people?
Here's one...Kyler Baughman dies of flu five days after catching it | Daily Mail Online

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Old 01-10-2018, 10:54 AM   #11
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Bring a little bottle of hand sanitizer and use it frequently.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
So who are these healthy young people? And where did you get this 10 % number..flu season is never fun but it happens every year just like Christmas .
Here is another:

https://patch.com/illinois/crystalla...-complications

And the 10% number is common knowledge, been in the news repeatedly, how can you not know ?
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:00 AM   #13
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When we fly in a plane, I open the air nozzle to get a stream of air, don't want other's germs just hanging around in front of my face.

DW wipes everything down with antiseptic wipes since we all know the airlines don't clean between flights. Once I sat beside a seat smelling of vomit, and complained, so they changed the seat pads out before taking off, obviously nobody had cleaned the plane.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:02 AM   #14
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I would never try handing someone else a mask. I suppose that's no worse than asking someone to cover their cough or sneeze, which I would do if they were sitting next to me and aimed in my direction.


I could the flu just after Christmas, just after flying. Can't tell for sure if I caught it then, or from family who was sick when I got there. I flew first class, so that I'd have more space and hopefully fewer germs. I also got my first flu shot ever this year, but I'd also heard later that it only covered about 10% of the strains, or was somehow otherwise only 10% effective, but might still minimize the severity. Mine wasn't too bad, a couple days of chills and 102 temp, but I still have a bit of a cough 2 weeks later.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:04 AM   #15
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Last year I got off a Caribbean cruise and was wearing gloves.
Forgot to take them off as we got to Customs, suddenly thought this looks suspicious.

The agent saw my gloves and said "I don't like touching everything either" as he reached out with his surgical gloved hands to take our passports..
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
This years flu is scary. Deaths of healthy young people from the flu concerns me. We're flying next week to FL. I've been researching and the flu vaccine is 10% effective this year. [...]
Any other flu avoidance tips are welcome.
I don't travel, which ought to help, but I'm not entirely sure of that. Seems like the flu is a problem all over the country. Several of my internet friends have had it in the past month, and have had a hard time with it.

I didn't get the flu shot; probably should have. Yesterday I was sneezing and sniffling, and the first thing that came to my mind was "OMG, I hope I am not coming down with the flu!". But today I'm not sneezing any more. We'll see. I do NOT need the flu this year.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:09 AM   #17
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This happens every year it's terrible for everyone involved but happens every flu season..we need to be vigilant but not terrified it's my understanding in the UK flu shots are only recommend for people over 60 or with chronic health problems
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:13 AM   #18
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I had to research that 10% number. From the CDC:

Quote:
The 10% vaccine effectiveness (VE) figure reported in the news is an Australian interim estimate of the vaccine’s benefit against one flu virus (the H3N2 virus) that circulated in Australia during its most recent flu season. In the United States last season, overall vaccine effectiveness against all circulating flu viruses was 39%, and VE was only a bit lower (32%) against H3N2 viruses. Vaccine effectiveness against other flu viruses (i.e., H1N1 or B viruses) was‎ higher.
Not too bad IMO. Certainly not a reason not to get the vaccine. For the last 15 years I flew to Asia several times per year. I never had a flu shot. Years ago, I heard that the US flu vaccine was based on the strains in Asia the year before. That would not have helped me. As travel has made the world smaller, it is no wonder why the US vaccine is less effective in recent years.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:19 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Here is another:

https://patch.com/illinois/crystalla...-complications

And the 10% number is common knowledge, been in the news repeatedly, how can you not know ?
Don't believe everything you read in the news..in fact in GB and Australia they only routinely vaccinate the most at risk population....

In fact the if you get flu shot and it's a widespread season and you don't get the flu your rate was a 100%. If you get the flu after a flu shot hopefully it will be less severe ..so if you get a mild to moderate case and not a severe case do you call that a vaccine failure.. I guess it depends on your point of view.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:24 AM   #20
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Was just told that the wife of a guy I used to share a place with in Toronto was knocked down and killed in a parking lot about a year ago..........one can take all the prescribed precautions and yet still........
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