How to avoid airborne infections on planes

Scott McCartney writes in the Wall Street Journal “The Middle Seat” column about how to avoid contracting airborne infections during air travel.

McCartney notes that recirculated air is not to blame, since high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are able to remove 99.97% of infectious particles, although if recirculation is turned off, diseases spread quickly.

Rather, most infections come from nearby passengers, especially within two seats.

McCartney suggests staying hydrated or using a saline nasal spray, using hand-sanitizer, wiping off tray tables, using the air vent to direct airborne particles away, avoiding pillows and blankets, and avoiding sick passengers if possible.

Good advice.

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