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Travel and Influenza

Remember these tips to stay healthy while you travel:

  • Get vaccinated with a seasonal flu shot.
  • Travel only when you are feeling well, so that you aren’t the cause of spreading the flu to others.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with something other than your hand – such as your elbow or a clean tissue.
  • Avoid introducing germs into your body – don't touch your face.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer; if you're flying, remember that hand sanitizer must be in a 3 oz. or smaller container, placed in a quart-sized clear plastic zip-top bag, and placed separately in a security bin for X-ray.
  • Consider carrying sanitizing wipes to clean armrests and trays on public transportation.
  • If you're traveling outside the United States, prepare for the possibility of health screenings. China and Japan have screened passengers in the past, and other countries may do the same. To avoid being detained abroad, don’t travel while sick.
  • Stay healthy in general by being physically active, eating a healthy diet and not smoking.

Influenza virus is spread by droplets from coughs and sneezes. Studies have shown that flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces like cafeteria tables, door handles and airplane trays for up to eight hours. Ultimately, vaccination is your best protection from the flu.