When my first baby was born, I became one of those annoying first-time mom germ freaks. You know the type – a mom who never lets a baby eat off of a restaurant table and disinfects every pacifier the minute it leaves the baby’s mouth. By the time my second son was born, I was much more lenient. But, with swine flu sweeping the country, I am back to my old self. I am sure it’s much better to be safe than sorry – especially during the most busy travel times of the year.
As a travel expert and mom, I am certain that the flu-prevention training my kids received at school will serve us well in airports across the nation this holiday season. First of all, simple courtesies like coughing and sneezing into your sleeves (rather than in your hands) are a good place to start. Be sure to pack enough disinfecting wipes for the entire clan when flying this flu season.
The Centers for Disease Control recently launched a travel campaign so we can all stay healthy while going to visit families.
“People are in close contact – whether they’re on a plane, train, ship or just visiting with loved ones. This campaign provides practical advice to help travelers prepare for their trips and stay healthy during their holiday travel,” says Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
CDC is urging people to take the following steps when planning their travel and to stay informed about what to do if they get sick while they’re gone, including:
• Traveling only when they are feeling well
• Getting vaccinated for flu (both seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 if they are in a priority group)
• Washing hands often
• Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve
CDC developed the campaign in response to the emergence in April of the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. Since then, flu has spread throughout the country and around the world.
For more information about the CDC Travelers’ Health campaign, recommendations regarding domestic or international travel, click here. For more information about the H1N1 virus, visit www.flu.gov.
Picture courtesy of Flickr member Roger Bits