Flying

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Just wondered if anyone has come down with an infection after an air flight?  I fly to Europe on holiday and have found even taking precautions I seem to come down with an infection a couple of days after landing.

 

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  • Posted

    Yes is the answer probably acquired flying to or from Canada from NYC.

    it led to pneumonia and a torn rib cartilage from coughing too much. The latter still pains me from time to time. It led to a holiday from nightmares as I refused hospital admission. The alternative, strong antibiotics gave their own side effects of tendon pain and rash that simply added to problems.

    i suggest infection control procedures including regular hand gel not touching toilet surfaces or doors without using a hand wipe/towel etc . A face mask may help but most people might think that over the top. Better to travel with others you know are free from respiratory infections including colds. Even so gel armrests and table surfaces. Such measures have helped me since.

    Recirculating air air on planes is ridden with risks and some airlines may be better than others ar cleaning or renewing filters.

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  • Posted

    Hi Madeleine

    Yes, I am very prone to infections after flying. Also, like yourself, I become ill a couple of days after flying. I took a course of antibiotics finishing them the day before I flew and still got an infection. My doctor says its due to the change in the weather conditions.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for these replies,it's  interesting...I do take precautions on the plane but, of course, I have strong suspicions about recirculation of air...I was wondering if I was paranoid but it seems not.  My first reacion is to really cut down on flights, it seems fruitless to go on holiday abroad for the warmth and come back to an infection which undoes all the benefits.
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  • Posted

    Hi Madeleine , I just come back from turkey , no problem for me, I had a bad infection before I went and had antibioics , don't know if this helped , hope you are feeling better now . 
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  • Posted

    Am a reasonably frequent traveller on planes, though typically only 6 journeys a year are intercontinental/lengthy.

    Have not noticed any additional impact of travel on my infections. Same with my history of bronchitis before bronchX.

    Stress and tiredness that are well-known to be associated with holidays (family ones in particular) may be a contributory factor in temporarily reducing the effectivenes of the immune system. Possible ways of reducing stress would be:

    * holidaying during low and shoulder seasons to avoid crowds at airports, hotels, restaurants

    * sending more money on avoiding cattle class (I nearly always travel economy myself though and agree it's difficult to contemplate the premiums, but there is no doubt that greater legroom, nicer seats and more tailored food is less stressy

    * planning - don't put yourself in those stressy transiting situations between flights or when travelling to/from airports. Leave plenty of time so you can breeze through in a calm manner with time to stop for a relaxing (and unfortunately often expensive) snack/coffee

    * planning - do lots of research about your holiday destination and eg ask other travellers online about how to negotiate airport to hotel and getting foreign currency; don't try to see everything by rushing around

    * consider taking more relaxing holidays at home where you take it very easy in a place you know - foreign holidays to new destinations increase stress levels  

    Common sense stuff and I'm sure everyone else would come up with more tips. 

    Do I follow my own advice? Nah! Certainly not when I'm on my own, but it helps now I have a wife and family who prefer to take life easy and relax in the hotel and for long meals rather than rush around taking in views, events and tourist destinations

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    • Posted

      Steve, I am quite excited to read your message esp. about your wife and family who like to relax in hotel etc. and taking trips locally instead of interntl.

      We took a lengthy train trip to Seattle last year and even tho we were seated and it was relaxing it's still kind of stressful when u have to get off the train and find transport to hotel etc. etc.  So we do that and what???? my husband wants to take a tour of the city (well sort of)

      walking!  He asked if I was going to go and I said no thanks, just let me stay here and unpack.  I was winded from walking down the long corridor, needed to do my inhaler, couldn't see me stepping out on the street to sightsee etc.  So off he goes, gets totally lost because the streets are curvy and not what he thinks streets should be and finally comes back maybe 2 hrs later. He's learned his way around and the next morning when I'm staying in bed, he's off again sightseeing some wonderful things and taking pictures of it all, Again he's gone a couple of hours.  He's older than me but very healthy and I hate that I can't keep up but I wanted you to know it made me feel good to hear you say what is in my thoughts and I too focus on domestic holidays as they can be stressful enough esp. when driving.

      Tabatha

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    • Posted

      I am your husband! Have to/want to see everything, ride every bus and local train, climb up to every view. I think it's a man thing (man the hunter/woman the nurturer) but I do know a couple where the roles are reversed. Drives me crazy to have wife and couch potato 18 year old daughter who would prefer it if they could watch the movie about a place but still want to go there for the food and shopping and lounging about in a hotel. The six year old has to get a theme park or two in so what with the shopping and that I can't stay away from people even if I wanted to.

      Want to take them to the US next year - I worked there for a couple of years and love the place. But I can just imagine, Grand Canyon (not interesting) Yosemite (not interesting) [steaks and seafood will be a great hit as will be the theme parks in Florida or California].

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    • Posted

      Oh, Steve, I see your point - 18 yr old couch potatoes aren't good - I have to tell you, when my youngest son was about 19 or 20 he was living with roommates at that time and one day he calls and says "should I go to Chicago to see this girl l'm dating?  She got a job as a waitress up there". I say No and explain all the reasons why.  SO off he goes to Chicago (somehow figured out how to get a plane ticket and get to the airport and figure all that stuff out by himself) tells me as soon as he gets off the plane that he hops into a cab and says 'where are the tourist places to go and the best sightseeing things to do here?'  And off he goes for a day's adventures PLUS he goes to a country club and asks to play golf there (yes, he's already learned to play) and ends up being paired or teamed up with 3 business men naturally whom he'd never met before, and has a great day of golf. I was beside myself with envy and astonishment at this young boy who in his life had only relocated one time, and that was when we made a move as a family when he was 17..

      He also got on a Greyhound bus all by himself at 17 and took a trip back to his old hometown to visit friends.  I was totally amazed at this.  As you say, it's probably a man thing.  Plus he had the money to do all this!!!!

      Well hopefully your couch potato is not that in real life, and only like that on vacations while believing she is stuck in hotel rooms : )

      See what Madeleine started??

      Happy Father's Day - do they have that where you are?

      Tabatha

       

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  • Posted

    I have agonizing pain in the back of my head where the head sits on the neck,  It only happens when the plane descends.  I've been told you know, to chew gum and blow out the ears - (Valsalva maneuver) and yawn etc. and none of that helps. the pain is so severe I'm halfway in tears and panic stricken because I think my head is being pried in two with a crowbar. Nobody else on the plane seems to suffer and I'm in hell.  A doctor told me the mastoid sinuses are back there at the side behind the ear.  so I don't know if that's my problem but I had to fly to an island for my son's wedding and I had to go even tho I hadn't flown in many many years.  I went to ENT Dr.  He offered tubes in my ears but I said no to that - I wasn't sure that would solve my problem and didn't know what that would be like and might cause me more trouble somehow. He didn't seem to understand the pain I had and was talking like it was 'just pain in the ears'. Several days before the trip I practiced the Valsalva maneuver probably too much. Anyway I took antibiotics, Afrin Nasal Spray (just for the flight), antihistamines and decongestants a day before and/or on the flight. Everything went smoothly and I arrived with no problem  Then I found out the wedding was to be on yet another island that we had to fly to in a tiny plane, two days later. Then I was a nervous wreck but again everything was OK there and back as the plane never got very high with it's one engine (or could it possibly have been two). I should have had Valium for that flight.  

    I still had the drugs in me and had  enough for the flight back home.  And that turned out OK too.  I was thankful to have made it with no pain. So we get in the car and drive the hour and a half back home.  When we got to the outskirts of town I opened the window to feel the air and see if it was warm or hot.  It was evening and dark.  At that moment I just know something flew into the car and made me sneeze and come down with such 'an allergy' I thought.  Have no idea what it was in the air that night but I ended up sick with bronchitis for a couple of weeks. And I'd been on an antibiotic for 7 days but I'd finished it two days prior. NOW, reading Madeleine's question, I'm wondering if it was something from the plane I mean, what could fly in the car and make me sick for that two seconds I had the window open?. 

    My son and his wife do not understand why I don't fly;  I don't want to burden them with all my problems. I assure them I'm not 'afraid' to fly it's just that I have such pain.   And they throw it back that I had no problem on that flight to the island.  (I don't tell them about the BX or other lung things that make me afraid to get near crowds of people and about the fear of germs.)

    We took a train ride this year, quite a long one, and there was not anybody we met on that train who wanted to fly.  They were all insistent on taking a train to get to their destination rather than fly, for different reasons.  I used to fly and had no problem for years but not knowing if I'll have this head pain again and on what type of plane etc. I'm not taking a chance.  And especially now as I'm older and with a maybe substandard immune system why take a chance on getting a germ that could be serious and make me worse with my COPD and BX. It's a shame as I have people to visit all over and in Australia and the UK.  I wonder am I afraid to live a ittle or am I being cautious about my health.  Anyway, I think you are right, Madeleine - it's risky. And the older you are the more risk involved I'd guess.

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  • Posted

    Madeleine, I thought that traveling over sea might be a problem, thought I have not been over seas in the last few years. It was a insightful reading all of replys to your question. Thank you for submiting it.

    Best

    Russ

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  • Posted

    Thanks for these replies, as always other people's experiences are interesting and welcome.  I must say I did take Steve's comment particularly on board as our holiday was a family one, which included very small children who rise early in the morning, it was fun, lovely to have the whole family together, relaxing...NO.  I do feel I must get a handle on my stress levels, which of course cause extreme tiredness.  I work very hard with diet and trying to reinforce my immune system, but fail when it comes to emotional stress...a woman thing????  I do know the areas I must work harder at...it's putting it into practice! 

    ​Madeleine

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