Study: To Avoid Getting Sick While Flying, Sit in a Window Seat and Don’t Get Up

A new study out Monday says that the best way to avoid getting sick by catching a bug from someone on your plane is to sit in a window seat and then don’t get up until the flight is over. The idea is that doing so keeps you away from sick people who may be on the aisle or moving around the plane. Researchers led by Vicki Stover Hertzberg of Emory University tested plane cabin surfaces and air for viruses on 10 flights and observed how people came into contact with each other. They also did mathematical modeling and computer simulations to determine how likely people were to come close to a hypothetical sick passenger in a 14th-row aisle seat of a single-aisle plane, and concluded that on average, only one person on a flight of about 150 passengers would be infected. They also determined that the 11 people sitting closest to a person with a cold or flu are at the highest risk of getting sick, which includes the two people sitting to their left, the two to their right, and those in the rows immediately in front of and behind them. (Associated Press)