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Flu season: How to avoid the flu while traveling

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Getting ready to travel is always exciting but it can also be stressful. From the packing to the planning the last thing you want is to get sick.

As you take that much needed trip to the beaches, the slopes, the exotic or the hometown you could be bringing some baggage you don’t want: germs. 

Doctors say airplanes are places where you can be vulnerable.

“You might be shedding virus two to five days before you actually get symptomatic that depends on what virus or influenza you’ve been exposed to,” said Mary Kay Foster, the special pathogens program manager at IU Health. 

She said that’s why the flu and other viruses can spread quickly. 

“The infections could be anywhere from (one place to another) in less than 24 hours,” Foster said. “Just from how easy it is to get around the world and be spreading and not knowing that you’re infectious.” 

She has some tips on how to stay sick-free on the plane.

“Carry your hand sanitizer, your Kleenex. If you get to feeling bad when you’re in the airport or on the airplane, let the stewardess know if there’s a spot away from everyone else, ask to be moved. say, ‘Hey, I don’t feel good.’”

If you’re feeling flu symptoms while away, you may have to decide if it’s worth going to a doctor. Foster said if those symptoms are severe, that’s when you may have to get checked out.