A new study suggests that you can keep the germs on plane at bay by simply picking the right seat. The window seat is the best seat to stay safe from airborne infections during a flight.
The right seat reduces the risk of getting into contact with a sick passenger, the new study claims. Researchers also found that travelers directly exposed to the aircraft aisle are more likely to get sick during a flight.
The findings appeared this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Passengers that don’t have a windows seat have a higher risk of getting a microbial infection from nearby travelers or flight attendants. Also, the risk of getting sick multiplies even if you have a window seat if you tend to move around the airplane.
Although the study’s conclusion may seem common sense, the latest research is the first to analyze how people get sick on airplanes. There is also the belief that traveling on plane boosts the risk of getting sick.
Window Seats Safest on a Plane
The research team booked 10 domestic flights and analyzed the moves of travelers and crew members. The longest flight took five fours. During their entire study, researchers found only one passenger sick enough to cough on plane.
Researchers also took germ samples from seat belt buckles but found none of the 18 viruses that usually cause the most common respiratory illnesses. Most of the flights happened during the flu season.
After each flight, researchers created computer models of how disease could be spread on an airplane. The team took into account the most common ways of spreading disease, namely sneezing, coughing, and close-range breathing.
The study revealed that a sick passenger could spread the disease to only 11 people around him. The rest of the passengers had almost zero risk. Also, the most likely passengers to get sick were those across the aisle, while the less likely passengers to get the flu were those in the window seats.
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