Plastic Airport Security Trays Full of Viruses

The following article was provided by Incentive Connection Travel.

The highest levels of respiratory viruses at airports are on the plastic trays used at security checkpoints, a new study finds.

Researchers took samples from a variety of of surfaces at Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland and found evidence of respiratory viruses on 10 percent of the surfaces.

The highest virus levels were found on plastic trays used at the hand luggage X-ray checkpoint, but viruses were also detected on shop payment terminals, staircase rails, passport checking counters, children’s play areas and in the air.

No respiratory viruses were found on toilet surfaces, according to the study published in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases.

“This study supports the case for improved public awareness of how viral infections spread. People can help to minimize contagion by hygienic hand washing and coughing into a handkerchief, tissue or sleeve at all times, but especially in public places. These simple precautions can help prevent pandemics and are most important in crowded areas like airports that have a high volume of people travelling to and from many different parts of the world,” said study author Jonathan Van Tam, a professor of health protection at the University of Nottingham, in the U.K.

“The presence of microbes in the environment of an airport has not been investigated previously. The new findings support preparedness planning for controlling the spread of serious infectious diseases in airports. The results also provide new ideas for technical improvements in airport design and refurbishment,” study author Niina Ikonen, a virology expert at the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, said in a Nottingham news release.

Discipleship Travel LLC comments:

We have found Purell Sanitizing Wipes (see box below) to be a helpful airport travel item. We use them to clean the seat area, including armrests, seat belt buckle, tray table, etc., before getting settled into our seats. With the recent study results, it might not be a bad idea to wipe the plastic trays in security.

 

Avoiding the Flu While Flying

The Associated Press is reporting on a recently published study that confirms “what some experts have been saying for years,” namely, that flying in a window seat might help travelers avoid the flu and/or colds.

Lead researcher Vicki Stover Hertzberg of Emory University, says,

get in that window seat and don’t move.

You can read the complete article here.

 

 

Unrest and Tourism in Israel

Below is a video report on the current unrest and tourism published on October 15, 2015 by SarEl Tours, one of the largest ground agencies in Israel.

News from Israel’s Ministry of Tourism

Here’s the latest from the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

What’s happening where?

For some days rockets have been fired from the Palestinians’ Gaza Strip into southern Israel. A majority of the rockets have been brought down by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, but some have landed in towns and cities in a quite large area.

Is this where I’m going?

Probably not. Most of the areas the rockets have reached are off the usual tourist routes, but a few have been aimed towards Tel Aviv. Most of the rockets launched towards Tel Aviv were deflected by the Iron Dome. No tourists have been involved in any incidents.

How does all this affect my travel plans?

It probably doesn’t. Conditions in most of Israel are normal – with children going to school, people shopping, going to restaurants, going to the beach, and sightseeing.

Yes, but are people still going?

There are currently more than 100,000 tourists vacationing in Israel and there are no signs whatsoever that visitors are cutting their trips short. Individuals and groups continue to depart the U.S. and Canada for Israel without interruption.

But surely…

If you’re taking an organized tour, and should it be necessary, your tour operator will adjust your itinerary. If you’re traveling independently, hotels and tour guides are equipped to assist you and to suggest what you should and should not do, and where you should or should not go.  In addition to our www.goisrael.com, the website of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv israel.usembassy.gov gives up-to-date information for the benefit of Americans visiting our country

Yes, but…

As hard as it may seem to comprehend from thousands of miles away, the current situation has little effect on life in most of Israel.  2012 has already broken the record as the best-ever year for tourism to Israel, with more international travelers visiting Israel than ever before.  More than 80 airlines are operating their normal schedules to and from Israel, and today, as every day, close to 20 flights are operating nonstop between the United States and Canada and Israel, and vice versa.

Are you sure?

Tourists and tourism are very important to the State of Israel. If we felt it was inappropriate for you to come now, we would ask you not to.

If you’re already in Israel you are in good hands and know there’s nothing to be overly concerned about. And if you’re on your way: “Bon Voyage.” We look forward to greeting you.

UPDATED November 19, 2012

Source: http://tinyurl.com/chgat7z

The Gaza Conflict and Tourism to Israel

The current conflict between Israel and Gaza has negatively affected tourism in the Holy Land, but perhaps not as much as one might expect. Generally speaking, the conflict is isolated away from most tourist areas. However, the rockets into Tel Aviv and near Jerusalem do change the dynamic a bit.

Ha’aretz, one of Israel’s major daily newspapers has a nice article about the effect of the conflict on tourism.

Below are a few interesting paragraphs from the article (emphasis added), the rest of which can be read at the link above.

As fighting in the Gaza Strip entered its fifth day and Palestinian rockets landed deeper into Israel, travelers who had hoped to visit the Holy Land are starting to think twice.

But travel industry executives say there has not yet been a mass wave of cancellation.

A number of hotels in Israel, along with flagship airline El Al, have already seen some cancelations and believe the number will grow if the violence heads into a second week.

There are minimal cancelations at this moment, but obviously it is an evolving situation,” said a source in the Tourism Ministry, which has yet to offer official statistics.