Updated 12 November 2015

Action point


A study published in the Journal of Environmental Health Research found that airline passengers are 113 times more likely to catch a cold during a flight than during normal daily life.

Why does this happen? They found a number of possible causes: people huddled up in close quarters, shared air, and extremely low cabin humidity.

How do you limit your chances of catching a bug? Drink water to keep the mucous membranes in the nose and throat moist, use a saline nasal spray to flush germs from your nose, don't touch the seat pocket in front of you (if you have to, slide your sleeves over your hands), disinfect your seating area by wiping everything with a disinfecting wipe, travel with your own blanket and pillow, open the air vents above you to blow away germs, and close the toilet lid before flushing.

For the latest on flu jabs and cold remedies, visit the Cold & Flu Centre.