Air travel and flu season
7 Healthcast: Air travel and flu season
This study finds when air travel declines so do cases of the flu, and it's no secret air travel is a hub for the spread of airborne diseases.
"I think everyone who travels a lot knows you can catch colds and flu germs on airplanes," Ginger Glaser, a frequent traveler, said.
And now new research out of Children's Hospital Boston finds a direct connection between the flu and air travel. Specifically, the winter illness spread more slowly in years when domestic air travel was down…The most dramatic difference came after 9/11.
"After September 11th we turned off for a number of weeks - domestic air travel - and in fact there was evidence that this study showed decreased spread of flu," Dr. David Weber, and infectious disease researcher, said.
In fact, the flu season peak was delayed for two weeks that year. Dr. Weber says the finding could be useful information in case of a pandemic.
"A few weeks may in fact be able to stockpile things like food and water and things. A few weeks may in fact be beneficial," Dr. Weber said.
As for this year's cold and flu season...You can reduce your risk of getting sick with frequent hand washing, and by carrying sanitizing wipes. And don't forget to have a flu shot, they should be available next month.
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