The winter holiday season is the most popular time to travel, and going home for the holidays means spending more time in airports, train stations and other crowded public places. Unfortunately, the busiest travel time also coincides with flu season.
Flu can spell disaster for holiday plans. This virus is highly contagious and easily spread through contact with sick individuals. You don’t want to be stuck in bed, wasting precious time off work and missing out on celebrations with loved ones due to infection – or worse, be forced to travel when you are contagious and feel unwell.
Stay healthy and spread good tidings – not flu germs – when you travel this holiday season with these simple tips:
- Don’t touch that
Flu viruses are transmitted when you come in contact with respiratory secretions of a sick person and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. So avoid touching handrails and other surfaces in crowded public places like airports. Don’t put your face directly on airline-supplied pillows or blankets that haven’t been sanitized. Use antibacterial wipes to clean off tray tables and armrests before a meal or snack.
- Keep hands germ free
One of the simplest ways to avoid transmitting flu bugs is to wash your hands, yet as many as 30 percent of airline travelers do not after using airport restrooms, according to a study by the American Society for Microbiology. For moments when soap and water are not available, carry travel-friendly liquid hand sanitizer. Look for ones that contain a minimum of 60 percent alcohol as they are more effective at killing germs according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Prefer to DIY? Learn how to make hand sanitizer at home.)
- Beware the air
Between recirculated cabin air, confinement and passenger turnover, airplanes are like flying petri dishes. The cabins are extremely dry, and viruses like flu tend to thrive in low-humidity conditions. Cold air can also dry out your mucous membranes, breaking down your natural barrier to infection. Drink water or juice or add electrolyte tablets to beverages. Spritz your face with water to keep skin moist when you can. Avoid dehydrating beverages like coffee and soda.
- Keep calm
Stress can weaken the immune system, and unfortunately, both the holidays and traveling are hectic affairs. Do your best to be well-rested the night before you travel, and try to get full night’s sleep while en route. Trouble falling asleep? Even missing an hour or two of sleep nightly can wear down your immune system and increase your stress level, making you more susceptible to germs. Holiday cocktails at airport bars may be tempting but drink responsibly as excessive alcohol consumption can suppress immune response, too.
- Take action
If you start to feel fatigued, with a headache, body aches or chills, then take Oscillococcinum. Studies show that Oscillococcinum can shorten both the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms when taken at the onset. This homeopathic medicine is non-drowsy, does not interact with other medications, and can be given to everyone ages 2 and up.†
For more helpful tips and information on keeping well during your holiday travels, visit Oscillo.com/wellness.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.