Can Planes Spread Illnesses?

March 8, 2024

With spring just around the corner, you may already be focused on your spring break vacation. If you plan on traveling this spring, it is important to note that viral illnesses such as the flu are still relatively common during the first few months of the spring. Being in close proximity to others puts you at an increased risk of contracting a viral illness. Learn more about how illnesses travel and how to protect yourself from getting sick while traveling this spring. 

If you’re in need of prompt illness diagnosis and treatment services, look no further than AFC Urgent Care Lakewood. Our walk-in clinic offers patients in Lakewood, Belmar, Green Mountain & Genesee, CO, with convenient and comprehensive healthcare services. Reserve your spot by clicking the button below, or simply walk into the clinic when it’s convenient for you. For additional information regarding our clinic, contact us directly by calling (303) 988-3600.

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Understanding How Illnesses Spread

In order to understand how planes can be a possible vehicle for spreading illnesses, we first need to understand how illnesses spread normally. Most common illnesses can be broken up into two major categories: bacterial infections or viral infections. Bacteria and viruses are very different organisms which can cause very different illnesses and require different treatments. However, both bacteria and viruses can be contagious from person to person.

Generally, viruses are much more contagious compared to bacteria. This is because viruses can spread, through direct and indirect contact. This means that you can catch a virus by touching the same door knob or seat as someone who is carrying a virus. You can also catch a virus by breathing in microscopic airborne particles that are released via sneezing and coughing into the air by someone who is carrying a virus. In comparison, bacteria usually requires direct contact to spread from one person to another. Bacteria can live on surfaces, however, only for a few hours.

Can Planes Spread Disease?

Now that you know how common illnesses are spread, you may be realizing that public transportation is a hot spot for contracting an illness. Planes are particularly efficient at spreading infections through the air. The air on airplanes is circulated, meaning that you are breathing in the same air over and over. Since COVID-19, airplanes have improved the filters on airplane air units, which has helped decrease the spread of illnesses through airborne particles.

Planes can also spread disease because there are many opportunities in which you may be touching the same surface as someone who is carrying a bacteria or a virus. When you get on the plane, you touch your seatbelt, the seats around your, the overhead bins, the outlets, and the tray table. Although airplanes are cleaned between flights, the level of sanitation likely doesn’t include disinfecting every one of those surfaces. The bathroom doors, drinks received from in-flight service and entertainment systems are also common places where illnesses can be spread while on a plane.

How to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

If you’re traveling, the last thing you want is to be sick on your trip. With the help of just a few health and safety tips, you can be proactive and take steps to reduce your risk of contracting an illness while on a plane. Use the following tips to help reduce the chances of you getting sick from traveling on an airplane:

  • Carry disinfectant wipes + sanitize the surfaces around your seat
  • Sanitize your hands regularly
  • Wear a mask
  • Avoid touching surfaces like bathroom doors if possible
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Get tested before you travel to protect others

Visit AFC Urgent Care Lakewood for Same-Day Rapid Illness Diagnosis & Treatment

If you’re planning on traveling and are taking an airplane to get there, it is important to understand the risks associated with traveling on airplanes. Airplanes can facilitate the spread of illness very easily. However, being aware of the risk and making some small adjustments to the way that you travel can help reduce the risk of you getting sick. If you’re experiencing illness symptoms, visit AFC Urgent Care Lakewood for rapid illness diagnosis and treatment.

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At AFC Urgent Care Lakewood, we maintain short wait times and never require that you schedule an appointment to receive prompt illness care services. Simply walk into the clinic when it’s most convenient for you. Our clinic is equipped with a full lab, allowing us to perform diagnostic testing at the time of your visit and get the results quickly. Based on the results, our board-certified medical staff will create a customized treatment plan to ensure that you recover quickly. For more information, contact the clinic directly by calling (303) 988-3600.

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