Germ Hot Spots: The Plane Edition

A couple on a planeWondering how to avoid germs, and getting sick, while traveling on a plane? Unfortunately, the risk of contracting a contagious illness is heightened when you are in an enclosed space.

Studies show that germs can travel easily on an airplane, where people are packed together tightly.

For example, a woman on a 1994 flight from Chicago to Honolulu transmitted drug-resistant tuberculosis to at least six of her fellow passengers, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study.

In 2003, 22 people came down with SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, from a single fellow passenger who had SARS but didn’t have any symptoms, according to another New England journal study.

The surfaces that have tested highest for bacteria and other infection-causing germs include: