How to avoid getting sick during winter vacations?

It’s holiday season!  Winters are here, and Christmas is around the corner. You might be among thousands of other people who plan on going somewhere for vacations. Exploring new places, boarding an aeroplane, all of this sounds pretty interesting. Yet you still have to pay close attention to your health. You surely can’t compromise on that. Who would like to get sick during these days and not able to enjoy this time of the year? Certainly no one.

This article brings into discussion some of the things you need to keep in mind during your winter vacations. Its travelling season and you might be coming across a number of different people. Both from different cities and other countries. So before deciding to board a plane, read this article as your primary guide.

Beware of the germs

Yes, all the places you might be visiting will have the presence of germs. In fact, a lot of microbiologists feel that public places have far more germs during winter peak season than any time of the year. Understandably so, since a pool of tourists are visiting these sites. Be it be the airport, plane, bus stand or any historical monument, beware of the germs!

When you are surrounded by people what you might not know are the germs people are carrying with themselves. Not just mere cold or flu but a whole range of other pathogens. These pathogens can be considerably harmful and can, in turn, become responsible for the infliction of severe illnesses. Beware of all the microbes present: fungi, bacteria or virus. Always prepare yourself for the unexpected.

A study published in the PNAS journal provides us with some interesting insight. It was revealed that flights that operate internationally have passengers who are in some way infected with a certain illness. If you sit with such a passenger or are at a distance of two seats then your chances of infliction rise by almost 80%. To make matters worse, the figure can go up to 90% if no measures by the company are taken. All of this tells you how dangerous it could be to travel on intercontinental flights.

What to do?

You now know how there exists a significant risk of infliction on such flights. The next question you will ask, what to do as a result?

While for certainly there are numerous ways you can undertake to counter the problem. However, the first step really requires to acknowledge that the problem exists in the first place. Without a proper realization, you may have no motive to carry out any of the preventive measures.

The easy way out when you have boarded a plane with a diverse range of passengers is to avoid any sort of physical contact. Always try occupying seats with all your family members together. This helps ensure a considerable amount of distance away from the infected person. As per the second step, do not accept any food from passengers. You might not know this but germs spread far more easily through food items.

The following are some other ways you can undertake.

  1. Always keep a hand sanitizer and disinfectant with yourself. Use the disinfectant to clean away the airplane seat you are going to sit on. Go for hand sanitizers that constitute almost 70% of ethanol content.
  2. Make sure that the food you are provided with is properly packed in a foil. Needless to say, also ensure that it has been warmed before it is served. Warming may help denature these microbes and lessen the risk of infliction.
  3. Use a scarf or a mask if possible. It sounds demanding to wear a mask throughout your journey. But you can literally lessen the risk by about 60%. If wearing a mask during the flight seems difficult, have it on when you are around a crowded environment.

Change clothes and wash your hand thoroughly

A lot of people will tend to miss out on three precautionary steps mentioned above. Because there is so much a person is occupied with during the journey, it is understandable. If you are among one of them then consider practising the following preventive methods.

You are likely to pick up a number of germs on your hand, face, and other parts of the body. Not just necessarily from coming in contact with a certain thing. There are microbes present in large amounts, circulating in the air. What this really means is that there is no way of escaping. As a result, it is pertinent on your behalf to clean yourself afterwards. If after landing you move directly to the hotel, take a shower using soap with a disinfectant property. In other cases, when you land go to the nearest restroom and wash your hands thoroughly. Washing should be carried out by cleaning the areas between the fingers and the fingernails. These are the areas most prone to germs deposition.

If possible, do keep a pair of spare clothes with you while travelling. Surprisingly and rather, unfortunately, your clothes become the breeding grounds for germs. Change your shirt to a new one once you are out of the crowded environment. Are you aware that by doing so you shed away about millions of germs that were initially present? According to one study, you make about 37 million germs go away.

Healthy eating & proper sleeping

It is important to keep yourself healthy both before and after your journey has started. It helps in keeping your system active and functional. If you don’t follow the habit of healthy eating when you put yourself at far greater risk.

Always aim at purchasing the food of the purest quality. It might cost you money but spending is worth it.  Try consuming those items which are loaded with essential nutrients particularly fiber. Fiber helps in aiding the function of the immune as well as digestive system. Do not go for any processed items since they are composed of additives which can be unhealthy for the body. Also, as mentioned earlier, warm your food before consuming it.

Maintaining a proper sleeping schedule is as important as ensuring consumption of healthy diet. Sleeping at the normal usual time can be a problem if you travel to a different country. The time difference and jet lag makes the problem worse. However, right from day 1 try adjusting your routine that suits your body’s interest. If the time difference is considerable, follow a proper sleeping routine even before you start your vacations. Adjust your nap and sleep time in the same way that you will tend to abide by during your journey. All of this ensures that the body is kept healthy throughout your holiday time.




Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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