Question

Cold and Flu

How likely am I to catch a cold on a plane?

A Answers (2)

  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    You’re more likely to catch a cold on a plane than on the ground. Researchers have tried to determine why people who fly are at an increased risk for colds. It's likely that the dry air in the plane's cabin, plus close contact with other people, puts air travelers at a higher risk for getting sick.
  • ALauren Streicher, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered
    There is no evidence that recirculating air on a plane increases the likelihood of transmitting a cold. Jamming 3 people in a space meant for 2 and practically sitting on someone's lap who is coughing and sneezing is another story. Your best bet is to upgrade to first class and bring extra tissue for your seatmates. Alcohol-based hand rubs are a good alternative when there is limited access to soap and water.
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