How to Protect Yourself on a Plane From Ebola

How to Protect Yourself on a Plane From Ebola

The nation's airlines are on Ebola alert!

There was an intense scene at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on Monday as hazmat crews responded after the pilot said a passenger on board was vomiting.

At Newark Airport this weekend, a hazmat crew was called in when a sick passenger triggered Ebola panic. Fortunately, in both cases, the alerts turned out to be false alarms.

But the risk is real. A cramped airline cabin is an ideal environment for spreading disease. INSIDE EDITION spoke to Peter Greenberg, Senior Travel Editor at CBS News, who is on assignment in St. Tropez.

He said, "You are flying an aluminum petri dish of germs. It is a bacteria festival on a plane. If you think that your plane has been clean before you got on it, well, it may have been dusted, but it hasn't been cleaned."

Watch more of INSIDE EDITION's Interview with Greenberg

But there are ways you can protect yourself in the air.

Dr. Travis Stork from TV’s The Doctors joined INSIDE EDITION at Air Hollywood and gave us some important tips.

He says disinfecting wipes should be in everyone's carry on bag.

"I got the tray table, the arm rest, we haven't even bucked in yet, but, the person sitting here before me may have been sick. Anything I can touch could theoretically be contaminated," said Dr. Stork.

Here's another useful tip, use your air-vent as a shield.

Dr. Stork said, "If someone around me is coughing, I will turn the vent on full blast and have that air come straight across my face and in the direction of who may or may not be coughing. It is a little extra protective shield, at least it is pushing viral particles away from me."

No surprise, the dirtiest place on a plane is the bathroom.

INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret said, "If somebody is sick, they may not be sitting next to you, but odds are they are going here."

Dr. Stork said, "Count the handles. You have got the handle to get in, the handle to get out, the handle to lock it, you have got the faucet handles. That is five or six points of contact where germs could be lurking."

Flight attendants are especially at risk because they're always flying. Their union just issued this ominous directive: "All bodily fluids should be treated as if they are known to be contagious." That’s good advice for passengers too.