Does flying make you sick? Air carriers are worried it might, and with good reason: Airline passengers grouped closely together breathe the same dry, recycled cabin air when they travel and medical experts say the odds of catching an airborne virus on a flight are significantly higher than they are elsewhere.

So what can you do to keep from getting sick?

  • Stay hydrated. Dry cabin air makes you more vulnerable to infection. Drink lots of water, and keep your nose hydrated with saline nasal spray or petroleum jelly.
  • Avoid infected passengers. If you're sitting next to someone who appears to be ill, ask to be moved. The closer you are to the source of a potential infection, the greater chances are that you'll get sick.
  • Don't drink--alcohol, that is. Experts caution that alcohol dehydrates you and can make you more susceptible to illness.
  • Wash up. Always wash your hands after visiting the bathroom on the plane. These hard surfaces can be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.