Still, can dry air on board affect our natural defenses? It’s doubtful, says the Hygiene Council’s John Oxford,“You are far more likely to catch something in the taxi to the airport, which has no effective air purification in place.”
According to Oxford, a prime reason for people to fall ill after a flight may not be anything in the air, but the“fecal-oral route.”This is people who don’t wash their hands after leaving the toilet, then leave traces of their feces on the door handle and everywhere else they touch. Then, if you touch the handle on your way out (having washed your hands) and eat a bread roll upon returning to your seat, you are more likely to fall ill. The quality of air will be irrelevant.
This observation is probably worth bearing in mind, coming from Oxford – someone who, as well as being so senior in his field, hasn’t had flu for 30 years. His advice: Wash your hands, take hand sanitizer with you when you travel and if you see someone coughing and sneezing, try to keep your distance as much as possible. BT