Keeping Healthy During Busy Holiday Season

By CNN News Wire

Published 11/20 2013 09:30AM

Updated 11/20 2013 09:34AM

Despite crowds, chilly weather, and sniffly passengers, catching a flight this holiday season doesn't have to lead to catching a cold.

Crowded malls and terminals - tight airplane cabins - jam-packed family gatherings.  The holidays bring us all much closer together.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's travel health consultant, Dr. Phyllis Kozarsky, says staying healthy among crowds during peak travel season means going back to the basics.

Getting a flu shot, washing our hands carefully, and carrying tissues and using them properly," urges Dr. Kozarsky. "Sneezing into our tissues or coughing on our sleeves are probably the best things we can do right now."

She says no method is going to be 100 percent effective. But if the guy in the row behind you is sneezing over your shoulder, gently remind him of that proper "respiratory etiquette."

Surfaces like handrails, tray tables and seatback pockets, can potentially have a lot of germs. Don't touch them, and then touch your face. Add hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes to your carry-on.

And if you're the sick one, check with your airline.  They may let you reschedule flights, with a doctor's note.

"People always are in a rush to go somewhere, and it's much more safe if you realize that you're sick, and you have a fever and cough, that you stay home or stay where you are," Dr. Kozarsky says.

Staying hydrated throughout your travels can also help keep sickness away. So get plenty of rest, even among the holiday bustle.

(Karin Caifa, CNN)

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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