Kent State Professor Talks Importance of Hand-washing During Air Travel to Ward Off Colds and Flu

Kent State University’s Tara Smith, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health, told SELF Magazine that people need to be vigilant about hand-washing to prevent the spread of disease, particularly after air travel.Tara Smith

“People are carrying pathogens from all over the world, so it’s more likely you’ll be exposed to something that you haven’t encountered before,” Dr. Smith told SELF magazine.

In the article, Dr. Smith and other experts identified eight hot spots in airports and on planes that are particularly germy places. She suggests carrying alcohol-based hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, and avoiding any item a sick person touches.

Airplane tray tables are germ-laden surfaces, but Dr. Smith tells author Sophie Saint Thomas that it is hard to avoid touching them if you plan on eating, drinking or working while traveling. “In that case, Dr. Smith suggests bringing disinfectant wipes to cleanse the surface first,” Ms. Saint Thomas states.

To read the SELF article visit: https://www.self.com/story/germy-airport-airplane-items

To read more from Tara Smith and her research, go to: https://www.kent.edu/publichealth/profile/tara-c-smith-phd