Cold and flu viruses are transmitted by touching respiratory secretions on a surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Avoid that handrail and use antibacterial wipes.
Travel can facilitate the spread of the flu virus through shared surfaces and air. It’s often assumed that flu illness levels increase due to cold weather because the increase in illness levels coincides with cold weather. In reality, flu illness levels increase during the winter because people spend more time indoors. While inside, people share more space with others, touch more surfaces and breathe more “shared” air. Traveling amplifies this situation. The high occupant density and the proximity of passengers in cars, buses, stations, airplanes, airports and even cruise ships increases the chance of coming into contact with someone with flu. Reduce your chances of swapping germs by avoiding contact with shared items. Don’t put your face directly on airline-supplied pillows or blankets that haven’t been sanitized.