As our wonderful time together at Exeter ends, we must protect ourselves from the real threat. Flight Germs.

Studies from the American Society of Microbiology conclude that certain bacteria can live up to seven days on a plane. It is estimated that luggage comes in contact with over 80 million different bacterial microbes during a single flight. E. coli is found on the surface of the restroom counters in planes and besides bacteria there is radiation. Exposure to radioactivity is measured in milliSieverts (mSv). The average background radiation on the ground in UK is 2.5mSv a year and if you are flying for approximately ten hours a week it adds 4mSv to your exposure. A way you can protect yourself is simply wearing sun screen, especially if you have a window seat.

Just think about it: one restroom for 75 people. While no data actually suggests that people are more likely to get sick from flights, it is important to be prepared. Make sure to sanitize your seat and tray table with disinfectant wipes. Sanitize after you wash your hands.  Also do not go barefoot through security checkpoints or on the plane because there is a possibility that you can pick up a fungal infection and the carpets are not always vacuumed and cleaned.

If you plan on sleeping, use your own blanket and pillow rest, as most times they are not cleaned, simply repackaged. Also as clichéd as it sounds, drink lots of water.  Most importantly, make sure to protect yourself from other passengers who might be sick. Avoid touching your face and nose, because that how diseases spread. Also it is a common myth that, the air in the flight cabin has a large amount of infectious bacteria airborne. This is incorrect; throughout the cabin, air is continuously filtered.

I hope you stay safe and healthy on your way back home!