May 6, 2015

May 6, 2015
What Happens When You Sneeze on an Airplane

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great week so far. Dab the AIDS Bear and I are enjoying a few down days this week.

Traveling can be hard on anyone but it can be especially hard on people dealing with a weak immune system. So what happens when you sneeze in an airplane?

A new video shows how germs can spread on an airplaneóand how you can avoid getting sick.

No one likes to be stuck next to a sick person an airplane, but it turns out those pesky airborne germs will likely affect you no matter where you sit in the cabin.

A new animated video put together by Pennsylvania-based engineering firm Ansys simulates just what happens when someone seated in the middle of an airplane sneezes. The results arenít pretty.

Instead of staying in a little bubble around the sneezing passenger, airborne particles can travel up to 50 feet, dispersing in all directions around the cabin due to plane airflow. "The particles are colored to show you where the stuff goes," Robert Harwood, a director at Ansys, told Popular Science. "Those droplets get picked up by the airflow and get transplanted all over the cabin. They actually spread quite far."

The idea behind the video is to give public health officials and airlines a greater understanding of how certain germs spread. The information could be used to help curb the spread of airborne infectious diseases like influenza (good timing, since it's flu season).

Although air inside the main cabin is recycled about every two minutes, Harwood says that new air-conditioning systems can help regulate how certain germs are spreadóbut safer cabins often mean higher costs.

"They [airlines] want the cheapest flight but also for their passengers to be healthy. Our technology is useful because they can see how they can achieve that and improve performance without sacrificing cost."

Despite the apparent widespread dispersion of these germs, itís still not that easy to catch something like the flu while flying. And the simulation does not apply to the much feared Ebola virus, which cannot be spread through the air.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Wednesday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab