Air Travel

Air Travel is a topic covered in the CDC Yellow Book.

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Worldwide, an estimated 3.6 billion people travel by commercial aircraft every year, and this number continues to rise. Travelers often have concerns about the health risks of flying in airplanes. Those with underlying illness need to be aware that the entire point-to-point travel experience, including buses, trains, taxis, public waiting areas, and even movement within the airport, can pose challenges. Although illness may occur as a direct result of air travel, it is uncommon; the main concerns are:

  • Exacerbations of chronic medical problems due to changes in air pressure and humidity
  • Relative immobility during flights leading to thromboembolic disease (see Deep Vein Thrombosis & Pulmonary Embolism in this chapter)
  • Close proximity to other passengers with communicable diseases

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Worldwide, an estimated 3.6 billion people travel by commercial aircraft every year, and this number continues to rise. Travelers often have concerns about the health risks of flying in airplanes. Those with underlying illness need to be aware that the entire point-to-point travel experience, including buses, trains, taxis, public waiting areas, and even movement within the airport, can pose challenges. Although illness may occur as a direct result of air travel, it is uncommon; the main concerns are:

  • Exacerbations of chronic medical problems due to changes in air pressure and humidity
  • Relative immobility during flights leading to thromboembolic disease (see Deep Vein Thrombosis & Pulmonary Embolism in this chapter)
  • Close proximity to other passengers with communicable diseases

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