International travel and the coronavirus

Published: Feb. 27, 2020 at 6:05 PM PST
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Typically the sound and sight of an airplane taking off means a chance to get away to somewhere different. But these days travel, especially air travel, poses anxiety because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Well I think the most important thing before you go on any travel is, you have to look at the current data as to what is going in countries at risk, “ says Dr. Steven Zell, with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Internal Medicine Program. “Because that seems to be evolving on a daily basis.”

Zell recommends carrying with you on the plane a water and bleach mixture of 50-to-one in a three ounce spray bottle, along with rubber gloves and zip lock plastic bag.

”You need to disinfect the area that you are sitting in," says Dr. Zell. “That means your seat, your arm rest, and your tray table. Then spray that area, there is evidence that suggests with 30 seconds of contact you can inactivate coronavirus.”

Wipe the surface down. Place the gloves, the wipe in the zip lock bag and carry it with you to your destination.

There may be concern about the circulating air within the plane, but Zell says actually that air is probably better than what's at home or the office.

”The reality is that the air gets circulated quite significantly on a typical airline. Especially on some of the more modern ones,” he says.

Close proximity to others can't be avoided. A coughing passenger before the crisis could have worn a mask to prevent the spread of droplets and reduce the risk of infecting others. However, there is a shortage of the masks at this time. Droplets will travel through the air and land on surfaces.

With that in mind, Dr. Zell says keep your hands away from your face and wash those hands as frequently as you can.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020

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