For those of you planning air travel to your next medical conference (and ACP Internist isn't too shameless to plug Internal Medicine 2011; we hope to see you there) TIME reports that there are five health risks that are rare yet have recently happened. Tips on avoiding these maladies include:
--E. Coli and MRSA on the tray table. Microbiologists found these two everywhere when they swabbed down flights. Bring your own disinfecting wipes.
--Bed bugs in the seat. British Airways fumigated two planes after a passenger posted pictures online about her experience. Wrap clothes in plastic and wash them.
--Sick seatmates. Everyone has experienced (or been) this person. Wash your hands.
--Deep vein thrombosis. Tennis star Serena Williams experienced a pulmonary embolism, possibly related to recent foot surgery. But DVT can happen to anyone restrained to a cramped position for long periods of time. Move around in-flight (but not during the beverage service, of course.)
--Dehydration. Dry cabin air may make it more difficult to fight off infections. Drink more water.