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Avoid catching the flu on flights by getting a window seat

For someone who does not want to get sick, “in that window chair and not move,” the study of the principal investigator said.

(iStock)

Worried about catching a cold or the flu on a plane? Get a window seat, and do not leave it until the flight is over.

That is what the experts say for years, and it is perhaps the best advice comes from a new attempt to determine the risks of catching germs in an airplane.

There seems to be little research on the risks of a cold or the flu during air travel. Some experts believe that sitting in a window holding a passenger away from infectious people in the hallway or move.

The new study, published Monday, came to the same conclusion.

For someone who does not want to get sick, “in that window chair and not move,” the study of the principal investigator, Vicki Stover Herzberg of the Emory University in Atlanta.

Some experts believe that sitting in a window holding a passenger away from infectious people in the hallway or move.

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The study was ambitious: Teams of researchers flew around the world to test cab of surfaces and air for viruses and to observe how people came in contact with each other.

But it also had disadvantages. There are a total of 10 flights, they saw only one person coughing. And although the experiment was done during a flu season, five years ago, they couldn’t find even one of the 18 common cold and flu viruses tested.

It is possible that the researchers were unhappy, that they are on a plane that was not to sick people on them, Herzberg said.

The new study is initiated and funded by the Boeing Co. The Chicago-based jet manufacturer also recruited one of the researchers, Georgia Tech’s Howard Weiss, and had input in the writing of the results. “But there was no pressure to change things, or focus it on one way or the other,” Herzberg said.

The article was published electronically via a peer-reviewed scientific journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers did a number of mathematical models and computer simulations to determine how likely it is that the people were too close to a hypothetical infectious passenger sitting in an aisle seat in the 14th row of a single-aisle aircraft. They came to the conclusion that, on average, only one person on a flight of about 150 passengers would be infected.

Researchers who were not involved said that it would be difficult to make the use of the relatively small study to make any general conclusions about the risks of an airline passenger getting a cold or the flu, let alone other diseases, such as measles or tuberculosis.

But it is a novel study about a topic that is not well researched, ” she said. Studies have looked at how respiratory viruses spread in the laboratories and in homes, but “this is the first time I’ve done it for aircraft,” said Seema Lakdawala, a University of Pittsburgh biologist who studies how the flu spreads.

Studies have looked at how respiratory viruses spread in the laboratories and homes, but it is the first time many have seen it done for aircraft.

(iStock)

Found it:

—Approximately 38 percent of the passengers never left their chair, 38 percent of the links once, 13 percent twice to the left, and 11 percent more than two times.

—Not surprisingly, many of the people standing up had an aisle seat. About 80 percent of the people sitting in the hallway moved at least once during their flights, compared with 62 percent in the middle seats and 43 percent in the window.

—The 11 people that are the closest to a person with a cold or the flu are at the highest risk. That two people seated on the left, two to their right, and the people in the row immediately in front of them, and those in the row behind.

Many frequent flyers will be interested in the study of the results, said Edward Pizzarello, an investor in a Washington-area venture capital firm, who also writes a travel blog .

“It is definitely a fear that I hear from people all the time. They believe that they get sick of going on a plane, or she gets sick on a plane,” he said.

Pizzarello said that he is an aisle person, because he doesn’t want to feel trapped in the window seat if he needs to get up.

He will now go in front of the window?

Perhaps, he said, if a sick person sits next to him.

 

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