We know all too well as commuters that there’s always a chance of contracting a cold, whether it’s via a shared handrail or a fellow passenger’s sniffles. Furthermore, utilising public transportation—such as buses or trams—may increase one’s risk of catching the common cold by up to six times, according to 2011 research from the University of Nottingham. This suggests that the fear is not unfounded.

According to data from the World Health Organisation, up to 15% of people are susceptible to the cold virus throughout the winter.

Here are some methods to assist you avoid getting colds and coughing when taking public transit this winter:

1. Be Aware of Your Positioning
It’s safer to stand sideways to possible disease carriers rather than directly opposite them, considering how quickly coughs and sneezes can spread. Try to hold your breath for a short while if you are in the line of fire.

2. Watch Out for High-Touch Surfaces
Buttons, railings, and handles are common places for cold viruses to proliferate. Avoiding surfaces that a sick person has recently touched is advised, even though the risk of transmission varies depending on factors like the length of the viral presence and subsequent contact with the eyes and nose. And do not touch your face afterwards if contact cannot be avoided.

3. Increase Your Knowledge
Handrails on buses and trains aren’t the only place where viruses and colds may spread. Pay attention to other high-touch places such as ticket machines, maps, and handrails on escalators.

4. Accept Hand Hygiene
After utilising public transportation, make alcohol-based antibacterial hand gel a part of your on-the-go regimen. Prioritise washing your hands with soap and water as soon as you get at your location because it’s still the best practice, despite its effectiveness.

5. Strategic Seating
To reduce exposure to possibly sick people, choose less crowded areas, such the back of the bus or quieter train carriages.

6. Maximise Ventilation
To improve airflow and lower the chance of catching airborne viruses, open train windows wherever possible.

7. Remain at Home if Ill
Give rest and recuperation at home first priority if you’re sick. By stopping the spread of germs at work, this will not only keep your fellow commuters safe but also win you gratitude from your co-workers.

By taking these preventative steps, you may protect your health and safety during the cold and flu season and travel by public transport with more confidence.