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Staying Germs and Bacteria Free as You Travel During the Holiday

We all have plenty of plans for the holidays and traveling almost always finds its way into the list every single year.

As you get ready to board a train, a plane, a car, or whatever vehicle you choose to spend time with the people you love this season, remember that you would be in close contact with a lot of people in a closed area for a few hours. This means you would be exposed to various kind of germs and bacteria before you reach your destination increasing your chances of falling sick.

With the above fact established, before you go ahead to book your travel tickets make sure to follow the tips below so that your holiday will be everything bright and beautiful free of illnesses.

Be on germ guard

Before you pack your bags and head to the bus station, airport, or train station, mentally visualize the place as an emergency room.

The reason for this is because there will be tens or hundreds of other people who are there to board a means of transport just like you and they each have varying degrees of health. Some may have conditions that are contagious, and you can hardly or never tell who is infected amongst the other passengers.

We are talking about the spread of microbial species like fungi, bacteria, and viruses that are usually carried and spread by unsuspecting people. For the most part, we are bothered about getting cold and flu, but some other pathogens may cause problems for the gastrointestinal system, respiratory tract, and even the skin.

A research published in the journal PNAS recently reported that passengers on intercontinental flights who are seated within two seats or a row away from a passenger with a respiratory illness have as high as an 80% chance of getting sick.

The good part of the findings from is study is that other passengers on the plane have only a 3 percent risk of getting sick. Still, the best way to stay safe and reduce your risk of getting infected is to keep clear of germs.

You can either completely avoid germs by staying away from things that may be infected our avoiding crowded places, but that’s impossible in a busy park or an airport.

It is possible to prevent exposure via the use of disinfectant for surfaces, avoidance of risky foods, barrier protection against respiratory infections, and also antiseptics for the skin. The best way to guard yourself against germs and infections in by;

  1. Using hand sanitizers that contain at least 62 to 70 percent ethanol to provide your hands with around 15 seconds of wetness.
  2. Clean surfaces like tray tables and seat headrests with disinfectant wipes.
  3. Prevent viruses from getting into your respiratory tract by using scarfs.
  4. Unless your food is in a wrapper, never save it in the seat pocket.

It is also best to turn off air vents so that circulated air does not blow towards you

A few people have suggested that travelers apply petroleum jelly products on the inside of their nose as a lining to trap germs, so they do not inhale them. However, this method doesn’t guarantee prevention of infection.

There is no proof that this method has been tried and even if it has, it obviously would be ineffective. Imagine how tiny the droplets that spread from a sneeze or a cough can be and how difficult it would be to trap any of those in a Vaseline lining. Unless a person’s nose is completely plugged with something, the viruses will definitely find a way to sneak in.

While the use of petroleum jelly products as a lining may not be a totally bad idea, continuous use could cause some of it to get into your lungs which would lead to a condition called lipoid pneumonia.

Wash your hands and have a change of clothes after the journey

During the course of your journey, your hands made pickup microbes of the flu, respiratory virus, and even staphylococcus. If your hands are not washed before you place them on your face, you could get an infection.

It is healthy to have your hands washed out sanitized as many times possible because people naturally touch their faces, mouth, eyes, nose at least five times per hour. Now think about how many illness-borne germs you can get rid of by washing your hands with soap and water.

Germs find a way to hand underneath your nails and between your fingers because those places are easily neglected during hand washing. Which means you have wash those areas with as much attention as possible.

Changing into new clothes after you arrive your destination is a wonderful idea because microbes can settle on your clothes from being in the midst of plenty of people. The amount of time these microbes live on your clothes vary.

You never have an idea what kind of microbes or how much microbes are on your clothing so ditching your travel wear for fresh, clean ones on arrival is the wisest thing to do.

Exercise, eat healthily, and sleep before it’s time to embark on your journey

It is advisable to build your immune system before you go on a journey. Some of the ways you can do this include engaging in exercises, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep.

Throughout the flu season and winter, it is important that you continue to build your immune system because that is what will determine your vulnerability to disease-causing germs and bacteria.

So instead of you to become anxious about how much germs you’ll be exposed to, it is better to build a stronger immune system in the days leading up to your journey.

Avoid eating processed foods and other things that are not giving you naturally nutrients. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an example of the kind of foods you should eat to help build your immune system before you travel.

Having a smoothie or eating fresh fruits as part of your breakfast the morning before you travel helps to kick-start your metabolism and keep your body safe. Exercise not only helps keep you energized, but they also help to strengthen your immune system.

Even though during the holidays it can be difficult to find time for exercise, this is when you need it the most.

Sleep is also a very important part of the process because your body repairs itself when you are asleep. Have as much sleep as possible in the days leading up to your journey.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

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