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Secure your seat belts, not germs!

Beware germophobes !


We have always thought nothing equals a plane travel in terms of comfort, convenience and cleanliness. The things that usually bother us during a plane travel are concerns like motion sickness, DVT, food contamination, the engine noise, or our toddler's ear discomfort to name some. But, did you know that there is something else serious enough to bother too?

Are you aware of those invisible micro companions, who are inevitable, and just besides you, inside the aircraft cabin, all over the plane, say on the seat covers, inside the seat pockets, on the food trays, toilet door handles, etc., etc! Where from these germs originate? Our skin is covered with bacteria and we are shedding about 30,000-40,000 skin cells in an hour. What if someone is carrying some harmful bacteria like MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) which is quite life-threatening? So, this indicates that you are more than likely to get infected with germs left over by the previous set of passengers or your co-passengers and if you happen to travel with a cold, you may infect others through droplets from coughing or sneezing. It goes without saying that longer the travel, greater is the risk of infection.

There was a question earlier as to the survival of these microbes inside the cabin to be able to infect humans. Now, researchers at Auburn University have confirmed that the bugs can make cosy homes at every surface inside the cabin. Kiril Vaglenov, a post doctoral fellow in materials engineering, and his colleagues simply sterilized six surfaces commonly found in cabins by irradiating with gamma rays and then they intentionally infected these surfaces with some serious bugs like MRSA and E. coli 0157, which can cause severe diarrhea. The MRSA chose the deep seat pocket while the E.Coli preferred the rubber arm as their habitats. That showed that the microbes don't require special habitats to live. Pig skin was used instead of human host and simulated saliva and sweat solutions containing the microbes was used for the test. The finding of the test was interesting. More porous the surface, the microbes buried deep inside and survived longer, but their ability to infect was low compared to the less porous surface dwellers. That clearly explains that the seat-pocket microbes are safer than the metal door handle surface ones in terms of transmitting the disease. The microbes survived anywhere from 2 to 8 days on the different surfaces!!

So, our goal should be, either the bacteria should not survive or should not be able to transmit in a viable state. Sanitation strategies to protect the safety of the air passengers need to be implemented. Also, the airline industry should follow suit the hospital industry in using peroxide vapors or ultraviolet light to penetrate fabrics found in furnitures. Further studies are pending to ascertain the efficacy of the present disinfection methods used in aircrafts.

As far as we are concerned, the puzzle of,"what makes somebody fall sick after a plane travel" seems to be solved!

Watch the informational Video: Avoiding germs when traveling by Airplane !

Travel Security ...



When you are traveling, there may be instances where you may have to end up using a public computer or public Wi-Fi.

It is advisable to have a USB stick with Operating System and Browser so that you can browse under your own sandbox. Additionally, if you maintain an email id specifically for your travel, the chances of you compromising your primary email is less. You can forward your emails from your primary email to this temporary email.

Don't foget to keep your WAP security on !


Disclaimer: The above content is provided for information and awareness purpose only. It is not prescriptive or suggestive or meant to replaces your qualified physician's advice or consultation.

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