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 Post subject: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sat 09, 2007 8:14 am
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Location: Florida
I have been thinking of making a trip to Europe in the next month or so but the idea of being cooped up on a plane for 9 hours in this flu season has me about to chicken out. I've had the shot but supposedly it's about 20% effective at best. I really don't want to spend time in a German (or any other kind of) hospital.

Do the airlines do any kind of screening to keep "Flu Mary's" off flights?

RRM


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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
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Location: alameda,CA
I flew in October twice and then to Tennessee in December. So I pretty much caught every damned thing that was happening across the country. The "good" news is that I'm well and probably impervious to whatever nasty bugs are out there since I've had em' all already...


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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 07, 2018 6:32 pm
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Retired Radio Man wrote:
I have been thinking of making a trip to Europe in the next month or so but the idea of being cooped up on a plane for 9 hours in this flu season has me about to chicken out. I've had the shot but supposedly it's about 20% effective at best. I really don't want to spend time in a German (or any other kind of) hospital.

Do the airlines do any kind of screening to keep "Flu Mary's" off flights?

RRM


Flying business class,(or even 1st class) might help. You have a LOT more space between passengers. We went to Europe last September via Lufthansa business class. It was as good as it could possibly be. I'd fly Lufthansa again in a heartbeat. They were great.

We were also taking Airborne twice daily. I don't know if that mattered,but it can't hurt.

Good luck and enjoy your trip.


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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
My daughter lives in Melbourne, Australia. I go there often. I almost never got colds. However, since I travel that 9,761 miles often and it takes about 21 hours, I have been getting a cold at each end of the trip. Flu shots may help. Better than NO flu shots.

Just my opinion though...

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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 11:28 pm 
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Location: Aurora, CO
Wear a mask and nitrile gloves. People will think you ARE sick and will stay away. Reminds me of the time I suited up for a bio-hazard clean up in a medical cell. I put on everything- yellow suit, yellow gloves, mask, hood, goggles, booties. Everybody was freaked out.

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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 11:32 pm 
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Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
AuroraOldRadios wrote:
Wear a mask and nitrile gloves. People will think you ARE sick and will stay away.

You might laugh but I can tell you that many times, I see airline passengers doing just that. Often they are from the far East.

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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 6:12 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
I agree, mask and gloves.
I had the displeasure of riding a city bus for a hour recently, went to visit a relative in hospital.
We were seated on the first bench facing forward, so the kid directly ahead of us faced the aisle, which soon filled up with bodies. Every time he coughed, I cringed, but had nowhere to go. If I got up, some slimeball would sit next to my wife, so I stayed put. Been sick for 2 weeks now.

Remember when polite young people gave their seat up to older folks? Or was that something I just dreamed? No, we learned that in Boy Scouts, and that was a long time ago. :x

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Last edited by westcoastjohn on Feb Sat 10, 2018 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 7:51 pm 
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Location: Aurora, CO
The spray from a cough or sneeze leaves you drenched in germs. Those dirty hands touching the hand rails and door knobs leave them a mess. At work I wash my hands first thing when I go into the bathroom and then a second time after I'm done and use the paper towel to handle the door knob.

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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 9:27 pm 
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Location: Ashhurst, New Zealand
The most germ-ridden things, apparently, are supermarket trolley handles - and NEVER use the ones that have kiddy seats in them.

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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 1:55 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Spring Hill, FL
Retired Radio Man wrote:
Do the airlines do any kind of screening to keep "Flu Mary's" off flights?


There's really no way for us to do so. Take someone who has the flu, but doesn't care and they are going to fly anyway. If you think about the flu symptoms - you likely are going to loose your lunch in the bathroom, so me as the ticket counter or gate agent, I'm not seeing that. Then there's body aches. But how do I detect that? If it shows, they can simply say they were up all night, not enough sleep, long day, etc. I have no way to detect if they have a fever just by looking at them. In fact, that's why when ebola was a scare (don't get me started on how bogus that whole deal was...... ) they were using infared cameras to gauge incoming passenger's body heat to see if anyone had a temperature.

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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 2:32 am 
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The airlines are very reluctant to discuss how (or if) they disinfect recirculated air. HEPA filters and all of that don't work well against most airborne pathogens. Properly sized and maintained UV disinfection equipment is proven to be highly effective against anything RNA or DNA based (like the flu) but I doubt any of the airlines have these types of fixtures installed in their air recirculating equipment. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

The mask and gloves sound good to me!

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"This is the last radio I will ever buy, dear; I promise"


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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 3:39 am 
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WPE9IJF wrote:
I doubt any of the airlines have these types of fixtures installed in their air recirculating equipment. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it.


From my understanding it's filtered, but as far as having the equipment on board, that would be something that the aircraft manufacturer would have to have designed in to start with. But the air is not 100% recycled air. An aircraft is not just pressurized like a balloon and sealed. There is an air outflow vent, and air does flow out of that valve, which is replaced by fresh air vented in fro the engine compressors. On a side note, that's why it's colder by the exit doors. They tend to leak ever so slightly. But, the air in the cabin is supposed to be changed over every couple minutes, which does not happen in buildings, including hospitals.

There have been studies that have shown that people are not more likely to get sick on a plane than on the ground, but you have those who say they always get sick when they fly. Then again, you have people that fly frequently and don't get sick often. But consider too that you could have come in contact with the germs on the plane, or it could have been in the airport, which being a building has more stagnant air.

One thing I will say is I know quite a few pilots and flight attendants, and I've never heard any of them talk about getting sick on a regular basis.

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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 5:35 am 
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Joined: Oct Thu 02, 2014 5:57 am
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Location: Memphis, TN
Yup, you're correct that the air gets changed over every few minutes. Most planes have a recirc fan, but that's just to help keep air moving when the packs are off and to promote some extra circulation when they're on. The majority of the air is fresh.

On pressurized turbine powered airplanes, with the 787 being an exception, the air comes from the engine bleeds. That is, the air is bled from one of the compressor sections before the combustion chamber. On the CF-34 that powers 99% of the regional jets out there, it's bled from the 10th stage compressor section. It can also come from the APU, with the same result. The air is then sent to what's known as a pack, which is designed to cool it, remove water, and mix the cooled air with hot air to control the temperature. That air is then piped into the cabin. The actual pressure control is done by the outflow valves. Usually, they are in pairs and mounted in the tail. The packs basically run near wide open all the time, and the outflow valves vent as much or as little air as needed to keep the cabin altitude wherever it needs to be, usually around 5-6,000 feet. So, you've actually got pretty good air turnover.

One thing that can cause you some problems though, is the lack of water in the air. By design, the packs remove water to keep it from freezing and damaging the pack. So, you're breathing very very dry air which can make you more prone to catching something. Whatever amount of water you drink on the ground, you need to double that when you fly.


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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 5:51 am 
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Joined: Oct Thu 20, 2016 3:54 am
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Location: Missoula mt
Every time my 85 year old mother flies she come home sick, I have been scolding her about flying....WA7OPY :o


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 Post subject: Re: Flu and Plane Trips
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 7:38 am 
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Joined: Jun Sat 09, 2007 8:14 am
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Location: Florida
TPAairman wrote:
........... they were using infared cameras to gauge incoming passenger's body heat to see if anyone had a temperature.


That's what I was thinking about. The way the severity of this flu has been publicized I wondered if the airlines might start this, even if it wasn't announced in advance.

I'm not really concerned about just being on a plane with an infected person or two on it, just having one beside me for nine hours. On the last trip there was a bozo across the isle one row forward who coughed often and only even put his hand over his mouth every now and then. Luckily I didn't catch that.

RRM


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