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Avoiding Holiday Air Travel Health Risks


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According to USA Today, more than 27 million passengers, a record number, will fly U.S. airlines worldwide November 18-November 29. How many people of those people do you think will be sick? An Auburn University study revealed MRSA bacteria can survive on an airplane for four to seven days and E. coli can survive up to four days. That is risky business!

As an adult with no small children, the only times I’ve been sick in adulthood is after airplane travel. So this year when I get on the plane to visit my family in Philadelphia, I am going in armed. Pledge to avoid getting sick this year with me!

Here’s our plan:

Before the flight

Go for a brisk walk outside in fresh air and sunlight the day of or before the flight. Vitamin D is the body’s best defense against sickness.

Get a good night’s sleep; the immune system thrives when it is well rested.

Take Vitamin C and Zinc supplements every day for one week before the flight.

Drink warm water with lemon and lime as its alkalizing effect helps the body maintain a higher pH. The higher or more alkaline-rich your pH, the more your inner terrain is resistant to minor and major disease.

If you are not taking a probiotic already, start taking one! I do this year-round.

During the Flight

Keep your tray table up! According to CNN, airplane tray tables contain the most bacteria on an airplane, with 2,155 colony-forming units (CFUs) of bacteria per square inch. Bring along your own antibacterial cloths so that if you must use your tray table, you can wipe it down.

Open the bathroom door with a tissue and wash your hands afterwards. Lavatory flush buttons and door locks have considerably fewer CFUs per square inch (265 and 70 respectively), but they can still be a danger.

Bring your own pillow and blanket.

Stay hydrated. Drink warm water and green tea instead of coffee, soda and alcoholic beverages on the plane.

Bring some Emergen-C Immunity packets along and drink one or two. (2000mg of vitamin C is the recommended max dosage)

Avoid sugary snacks as sugar dramatically weakens the body’s ability to fight of bacteria and flu viruses.

Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season to you all! Enjoy family and friends in good health!


Shar VedaShar Veda, Southern Oregon’s Premier Alternative Therapist, offers deep healing through loving touch and compassionate counsel. She is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, yoga therapist and herbalist. Shar has been blessed to study with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism for 20 years. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook and Instagram!