Does Flying In An Airplane Increase My Likelihood Of Catching A Cold Or Getting The Flu?

Question: Does flying in an airplane increase my likelihood of catching a cold or getting the flu?

Answer: Well, I think anytime that you are in a crowd of people, the risk that you might catch a cold or catch the flu, is increased. We tend to catch these illnesses from other people. And so when you're in a crowd, the likelihood that you'll come in contact with somebody who's infected naturally goes up.

The types of interactions that we have amongst adults in these kinds of situations are usually not the types of interactions that are associated with the transmission of cold viruses, however, since those viruses generally are associated with very direct contact.

Influenza, on the other hand, is spread by aerosols, which is when the virus gets into the air. And so, when you're in a crowd with somebody who has influenza, your risk of catching influenza does go up.

The types of interactions that are associated with colds are more typically the types of interactions that we have with children, where the interaction is more direct and maybe less guarded. And those situations are the situations in which you're most likely to catch a cold.

Next: Should Everyone Get A Flu Vaccine (Flu Shot)?

Ronald Turner, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, University of Virginia School of Medicine
null

Previous: Is It True That Lingering In Wet Clothing Or Being Exposed To Cold Temperatures Increases My Chances Of Getting A Cold?

------

Get Your Questions Answered at the ABCNews.com OnCall+ Cold & Flu Center

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5679085. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5679085. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5679085. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5679085. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5679085.
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO:
Bay Ismoyo, ChaideerMahyuddin/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: An undated booking photo shows Castor Conley.
Multnomah County Sheriffs Office
PHOTO: Members of a volunteer medical team wear special uniforms for the burial of people, sterilized after dying due to the Ebola virus, in Kenema, Sierra Leone, Aug. 26, 2014.
Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images