Bacteria and viruses on the plane

Where do the dangers lurk?

Vacation - for many the most beautiful time of the year. But before the relaxation on the beach begins, you usually have to get a few hours of flying behind you. Crammed with numerous other people in a relatively narrow airplane cabin, this is sometimes more, sometimes less fun. Especially when you think about the fact that during this time you share both breathing air and sanitary facilities with your fellow passengers.
But how "contagious" can such a flight actually become and what should you absolutely pay attention to? We have found out for you in the following article.

Bakterien und Viren im Flugzeug

Things that should not be touched if possible

But you still inevitably touch them: the armrests of airplane seats. In a scientific study, it was found that the intestinal bacteria E.coli survive there twice as long (96 hours to be exact) than on a smooth surface like the folding tables. Yikes!
But even the folding tables are anything but clean and pure. The aggressive MRSA and noroviruses have already been found there more than once. The reason for this is that it is not uncommon for these tables to be cleaned only once a day. Just like the pockets of the front seat. Since frequently used handkerchiefs or spit bags find room there, these too are a veritable paradise for germs.
Other rather less surprising sources of bacteria are the toilet flush button and also the handles of the toilet door.

On long-haul flights, many passengers ask for blankets or pillows to help them sleep better. However, it is often reserved for passengers on the first flight of the day to snuggle up in fresh bedding. All subsequent passengers have to make do with used blankets - including the bacteria from the previous flight.

The air-conditioning system a virus spreader?

This statement is not true. The air conditioning systems used in aircraft today are designed to effectively rid the air of bacteria and germs, completely renewing up to 60% of it. Half of the cabin air consists of outside air, which is drawn in at a temperature of -50 degrees. Pathogens and germs hardly survive these temperatures. The other half is existing and filtered cabin air. Thus, all the air in the aircraft cabin is exchanged every three minutes - and according to scientific data, it is better than in some living and working spaces. This ensures that the air-conditioning system on board does not become a germ-haven.

Unexpected virus slings on board

Insiders reveal that you should never drink the water on board unless it comes from a bottle. The reason for this is not very appetizing: the opening for flushing out the toilets and the opening for filling the plane with drinking water are right next to each other - and sometimes they are operated at the same time and by the same employee. In addition, the fresh water tanks of an airplane are difficult to clean, which means that bacteria and germs can spread optimally there. Therefore, one should avoid all drinks that are made with fresh drinking water (i.e. also coffee and tea) and rather drink bottled water.

Hygiene tips for all passengers

Generally speaking, it is advisable to take more care with hygiene on the plane than on the ground. A small bottle of disinfectant gel or a disinfectant spray should therefore not be missing from any hand luggage. This can be used to disinfect folding tables, armrests, door handles and, of course, hands. When sneezing or coughing a handkerchief before mouth and nose to hold and this then also immediately to dispose (but please not in the pocket of the front seat) belongs likewise to the good airplane hygiene. A bottle of water, which can easily be bought after the security check, is also a loyal companion on flights. On long-haul flights, it is also advisable to take a thin blanket and a small cushion with you, so that you do not have to resort to the used bedding of the plane.

With these tips, nothing should stand in the way of a relaxed and largely germ-free flight.

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