The air we breathe

We’ve all felt the ef­fects of dry con­di­tions on board –

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mu­cous mem­branes of the nose and res­pi­ra­tory tract – that makes us think that we are de­hy­drated even if we are not. Since those mem­branes are one of the body’s first de­fenses against air­borne bac­te­ria, many of us be­lieve we are more likely to be­come ill after long-haul flights, par­tic­u­larly if the pas­sen­ger next to us is cough­ing and sneez­ing.

Pro­fes­sor John Ox­ford is a lead­ing vi­rol­o­gist and chair­man of the Hy­giene

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