Using public transport is maybe not as enjoyable as driving your own personal vehicle. Still, it is an excellent alternative for city dwellers as it enables them to travel along planned routes easily. The problem is that especially during flu season, there is a chance that you can catch flu from others. If you worry about that, here are some ideas on how to avoid that risk.
The most common vehicles used for public transport include buses, trams and trains. All these vehicles have one main thing in common, they enable large groups of people to travel together. This can also increase your risk of catching a disease on public transport.
Today, viral infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract that anyone can catch on public transport are Common Cold, Influenza, Rhinovirus, and even current outbreaks such as 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV).
There are effective ways to prevent getting sick when you travel. Here are our best ways to reduce your risk of getting sick on public transport:
TLC for Your Immune System
For long-lasting immunity, you need to boost your immune system the healthy way. Start with adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, especially citrus fruits and leafy greens. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps increase the production of white blood cells that protect you from bacterial infections and viruses. Leafy greens provide fibre and vitamins, iron, folate and calcium that trigger immune cells for a proper gut function.
Getting quality and enough sleep improves your immune system. People who don’t sleep enough are more likely to get viral infectious diseases after being exposed to viruses. Moreover, lack of sleep can slow down your recovery process if you do get sick.
Take Immune-Boosting Supplements
Taking immune-boosting supplements is a quick way to support your immune system and improve your health. Choosing the right supplement with essential nutrients can provide for a healthy functioning immune system. Supplements that include Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E, along with Zinc, are ideal for giving your immune system a quick boost.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Along with being an excellent everyday habit, washing hands regularly can protect you from viruses and getting sick. Viruses that cause cold and flu are often transmitted when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
Shared spaces that passengers often touch on public transports such as hanging straps, handrails, stanchions and stop buttons are most likely unhygienic. That’s why after you leave public transportation, wash your hands with soap as soon as possible.
Carry Hand Sanitizer
Touching a common space on public transport won’t make you sick by itself, but, touching your face, especially your eyes, mouth and nose will make it happen. Best way to keep your hands clean when you are not able to wash them is using hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer may help prevent the spread of viruses that cause diseases, particularly in public transports. Harmful bacteria are most likely to die through using alcohol-based hand sanitizer. That’s why we advise you to carry one with you and rub your hands with the right amount of it. However, we should remind you that the best way is to wash your hands regularly. Even after using hand sanitizer, you better wash your hands upon arriving home or office.
Avoid Traveling in Rush Hour
Rush hour is the time when people leave their offices and try to reach their planned destination. Especially in big cities, buses, trams, trains and even public transport stops get very crowded, which creates the perfect environment for virus infections.
Morning rush hour is mostly between 7 to 9 AM, and evening rush hour is usually between 6 to 8 PM. Avoiding these rush hours, especially during flu season can decrease the risk of getting viral infections. Avoiding areas with large gatherings of people can prevent viruses and germs from spreading from person to person. If you travel by tram or train, going to ends of platforms will be a good idea since they will be relatively less crowded. Most people tend to gather around the middle of the station platforms.
Use a Face Mask
Germs and viruses can more likely spread by droplet, especially on public transport. That’s why face masks may help prevent the spread of diseases as they cover the mouth and nose.
Especially during flu season, using a disposable face mask may reduce the risk of getting sick. Wear thicker and more specialized masks instead of thin, medical masks. After leaving the public transport, don’t forget to take your mask off carefully, throw it in the trash and wash your hands with soap after. Still, we advise you to stay away from anyone who is sneezing or coughing as much as you can on public transport.