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In the past two years, I’ve been on roughly 50 different flights, across different countries, states, airlines, and airports. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds — in the first year, I got the flu four times, two weeks a pop! I began to dread flying, because it felt inevitable that my frail immune system would contract whatever germs were floating around in the air of the cabin.

And it’s not just me — the journal BMC Infectious Diseases published a study on the role airports play in the transmission of influenza and pandemic threats. “Nucleic acid of at least one respiratory virus was detected in 9 out of 90 surface samples” in the examined airport, meaning about 10 percent of the things you touch in the airport have “at least” one virus. Sweet.

I decided to get proactive. Through research, trial and error, product testing, and talks with doctors, I created a defense guide on how to conquer air travel without picking up a nasty bug from your fellow passengers. Here’s my go-to, must-do checklist I stick to every single time I travel. And, guess what? I haven’t been sick once since I implemented this plan. Fly safe, my friends.

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