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Avoid germs while traveling this holiday season

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TYLER (KYTX) - Despite crowds, chilly weather, and sniffly passengers, catching a cab or a flight this holiday season doesn't have to lead to catching a cold.

Crowded malls and terminals, tight airplane cabins, jam-packed buses- the holidays bring us much closer together.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's travel health consultant, Doctor Phyllis Kozarsky, says staying healthy among crowds during peak travel season means going back to the basics.

"Getting a flu shot, washing our hands carefully, and carrying tissues and using them properly. Sneezing into our tissues or coughing on our sleeves are probably the best things we can do right now."

She says no method is going to be 100% effective. But you can make it a point to avoid surfaces like handrails, tray tables and seatback pockets. They can potentially have a lot of germs.

"From a personal professional perspective, I think it's a really good idea to wash your hands with soap and water multiple times throughout the day."

Barbara Holly is executive director of the Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

She says buses are cleaned every day, but you should still try to keep off the handrails unless you really need them.

"You've got a lot of people who are boarding those buses- our buses carrying an average of 100 passengers per day, per bus, and so you want to make sure- that that's like coming in contact or like shaking hands with all those people- that you've got your hands clean."

Holly says you should also add hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes to your bag.

And if you're the sick one, see about switching your ticket or rescheduling a flight with a doctor's note.

"People always are in a rush to go somewhere, and it's much more safe if you realize that you're sick, and you have a fever and cough, that you stay home or stay where you are."

Staying hydrated throughout your travels can also help keep sickness away. Try to balance your holiday cheer with a little H2O.

It's also important to get plenty of rest- even during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

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