|Most contagious illnesses, such as chicken pox, measles, ‘flu or the common cold, are spread as a result of close contact between people. This most commonly happens through ‘droplet spread’ – breathing in viral particles or bacteria carried into the air when someone with the illness coughs or sneezes close by. |
You might pick up an infection on the aircraft if someone in a seat close to you has a cold or other contagious disease. However, it is just as likely that you could catch an infection from someone close to you when travelling by public transport, at the airport, in your hotel or at a conference – indeed anywhere where you might be in close contact with other people.
You may have heard that you are more likely to catch an infection on board an aircraft because some of the cabin air is re-circulated. However, the air that is re-circulated passes through filters which are highly effective at removing particles, including bacteria, viruses and fungi that can cause infection. Research has shown that you are no more likely to catch an infection on an aircraft that has re-circulated air than on one where the air is not re-circulated. Go to Cabin Air Quality for further information.