Thursday, December 2, 2010

TB and air travel

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The spread of TB aboard an airline flight could be happen, but this will not always be the case and it will depend on other factors. Airlines do the pretty job of cleaning airplane air.  Tb infection is acquired through inhalation of M. tuberculosis in aerosolized respiratory secretions from an infectious person coughing, talking, sneezing.  The risk of infections is related to the proximity and the duration of exposure to the source patient.  Decreased ventilation in crowded and confined environment is often a contributing risk factor .  Although a single flight carries the risk of a relatively limited exposure.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB infection, as seen through electron microscope

To minimize your risk, do not to fly if you are suffering from an upper respiratory infection.  drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol.  And yes, try not to worry so much.  Getting infected with TB or any communicable diseases during a flight is rare. If you feel sick stay home and have a good bed rest.

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