Wonder why you're sick after the flight?

Feb 8, 2000

If you find yourself sick after the airplane flight, understand this! The airconditioners in the airplane can cause you to become very ill. The last flight I took was from Maui to Eureka, and I was so very sick, by the time we landed, I had to go to my doctor to find out why. At first, I thought I was sick because I had cut my legs on the corral while scuba diving, and I asked the doctor for Keflex, as it has been the only medication that keeps me from getting blood poisoning from the staff and strep germs I acquire after getting corral cuts. The doctor didn't want to give me such a strong drug for the cuts, but, when he understood how long I'd been in an airplane, he immediately prescribed the medication. Our flight had been delayed at the start, as the plane was having air conditioning problems. All the passengers were forced to remain on the plane for four hours, before takeoff, as it is illegal for anyone to exit the plane after passing the security checks. So, we all sat, uncomfortably, for the four hours, unable to be served any beverage or any food while the plane was on the ground. Then, the flight took another five hours from San Francisco to Maui. On our return flight, I was on the plane for another 5 hours back to San Francisco. My head was pounding, my chest was tight, and I had acquired a terrible cough. The doctor explained that the airconditioners on planes, now, have caused many illnesses for people on flights that last for this amount of time. The doctor suggested that anytime a flight is over a couple of hours, every passenger should, immediately, get a prescription for respiratory trouble. Evidently, while flying, we inhale more than the air that the other passengers are exhaling. The air conditioners have problems that cause severe problems with lungs and/or throats of all the passengers! Special problems occur if the passenger has asthma or any other lung difficulty to start. Don't pass the illness off as being minor, the doctor told me. It can kill. So, remember, it may not just be jet lag, it may be a serious problem that needs to be treated, immediately after your trip. Don't take chances. See your doctor if you find yourself having what feels like a simple sinus problem, a cough, asthma, or headache. Gladys

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