Blog | Monday, March 7, 2011

QD: News Every Day--Five rare yet avoidable air travel health risks

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:
Airplane By MarinaAvila via Flickr--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.