Summer air travel expected to be up but so are concerns about measles

U.B. Medical School doctor offers tips for staying healthy while flying
Posted at 6:30 PM, May 24, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — According to the AAA Western & Central NY, this summer is shaping up to be one of the busiest in years for air travel.

More travelers are expected and they are planning longer flights to far-away destinations.

"Orlando is always popular, but also in the top 10, we have some big name international destinations like Rome, Dublin, Paris, people going to Alaska and Hawaii," said Elizabeth Carey, public relations director for the AAA.

Longer flights mean longer periods in a confined space and possible exposure to germs.

Dr. David Holmes MD, clinical associate professor at the U.B. Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, feels all air travelers should take precautions.

The most important, said Dr. Holmes, is to make sure your family has been vaccinated for measles, flu and other serious viruses.

Next, boost your immune system 1-2 weeks before you fly with proper food, sleep, exercise and lots of water. Stay away from alcohol before you fly because it can dehydrate you, explained the doctor.

On the plane:

-Wash your hands with sanitizer
-Wipe tray-tables, arms of seats and seat-belts with disinfectant wipes
-Drink water to stay hydrated
-Open air vents fully to blow viruses away from you
-Walk or move your lower legs every hour to prevent possible deadly blot clots
-Make sure you pack medicine in your carry-on bag (in case your checked luggage gets lost)
-Consider bringing and wearing a mask (especially if you are sick!)
-Bring a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer with you (make sure it is 3 ounces or less and packed in a plastic zip-lock bag)
-Keep your hands away from your face

After the flight in a different time zone:

-Force your body to adjust to the new time zone by sleeping and eating at the correct time for that area - not when you feel tired or hungry (For example, if flying to California, go to bed at 10 p.m even though your body won't feel tired until 1 a.m.)