airplane air + bad-flu around: AOSafety respirator?

Gotta take a 3-hr flight in a few days.
Settng the stage: they say this year's flu might end up being *very* dangerous -- that plus unavailability of the vaccine -- pus being 62.
So, suppose there's people on-board horribly sneezing and coughing, expelling all kinds of (flu-) stuff into the air.
What with the super-low fresh-air input in these planes [CEO says: fuck the customers -- we gotta save money on the fuel that'd be needed if we were to have better turnover of cabin-air -- *else* I don't get my $30million bonus (just my usual shitty $10million!)] , and thus all that stuff's being circulated and recirculated and recirculated and recirculated ad nauseum in and out of our lungs.
It all makes you (well, me) wonder what one can do to ameleoriate the hazard (other than staying home!).
Well, a few years I got from HD a:
"AOSafety Multi-Purpose respirator".
Fits over nose and mouth, with two cannisters.
Never did open it -- it's still in that wraparound plastic thing it (and so many other things these days) comes in. So it should be "like fresh-off-the-HD-shelf".
Anyway, any (expert?) opinions about its anti-flu effectiveness?
----
And, if not this model (holes in filter too big to stop flu-carrying stuff?), then *which* model?
(Clearly, viruses are super-tiny, but when people sneeze, etc, they don's expel jillions of single independently-flying viruses, but much bigger things that the viruses are on or within.)
Thanks!
David
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well, there's probably a reason that they use moon suits in infectious disease quarantines rather than a face mask.
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Regardless if whether or not it's effective;
Do you REALLY think that you're going to be allowed to bring, much less use, something on an airplane that looks like you might be expecting to need protection against a biological and/or toxic material threat?
I'm guessing you'd be staring at some institutional green walls for quite a few hours, discussing the matter with friendly government employees. ;-)
- Rich
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Knowing what I know about the size of viruses, you would probably need a perfect seal and an NBC-rated cannister to really do any good. Most people get sick from touching stuff and then touching their eyes or nose or mouth.
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The "no fresh air" thing on commercial jets is an urban legend. You get more air "turns" in a commercial jet than you get in your office, house, shop, or the grocery store. The problem is that people are packed into the jet as if they are on a third world bus.
Make sure you're in good health and your system is stocked with vitamins, which never hurts. Beyond that, carry a pack of towelettes and wipe your hands off several times during your airport/airplane visit. Wipe 'em after you get to the boarding gate, once you get on the airplane, and after you get the drink and pack of peanuts from the flight attendant. Also after you get back to your seat after using the bathroom. Follow the same strategy as you exit the airport. Sure, anyone who watches you clean your hands 10 times on the trip will think you're going down the path of Howard Hughes, but it is doubtful that anyone is paying that much attention. Besides, when you get to Hawaii (or wherever), you'll be out on the town and they will be sick in their hotel room.
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Thanks, will do!
David
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Alternatively, get a gel-type hand sanitizer. I like Purelle, since it doesn't seem to leave a crummy-tasting residue on your hands (which in turn ends up on your food etc) like some of the other brands. Stay away from the perfumed and funny-coloured versions. You can get a small bottle that will fit in your pocket. This stuff (not necessarily the Purelle brand) was used in hospitals during the SARS scares to minimize transfer of germs.
Mike
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Relax, order a scotch/soda and enjoy the in-flight movie.
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All you need is a P-100 or N-100 rated face mask (link below).This looks like a surgical mask and is a HEPA filter. This is the best filtering of air you can get. You could wear this on the plane and just explain that you have allergies or whatever. Construction safety equipment stores should have these. FYI - It is my understanding that most new large aircraft have HEPA filters installed in their air systems. Also hospitals use these to filter the air as well.
I use these masks when sawing pressure treated wood. Also I have stand alone HEPA air cleaners which do wonders for my allergies.
If you were to wear something with canisters which looks like a gas mask, it might alarm some of the other passengers. (The cartridges are for chemicals, not particulates floating in the air.)
And those cheap 50 cent masks (not rated) at the hardware store are useless.
P-100 face masks... http://www.allergybegone.com/honfilmas.html
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Bill
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On 2 Nov 2004 16:44:09 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

Just returned to Ohio from Australia and New Zealand...*lots* of time in planes, trains, and coaches with their share of wheezing, sneezing, people.
I saw several people on many flights wearing surgical masks. They are available from pharmacies. Don't confuse with dust masks. No one was freaked out by the people wearing the masks, although they got their share of weird looks.
There is also a herbal product called Airborne that you take for a couple of days preceding a flight. It is supposed to boost your immune system. Looks like a big fizzie. You plop it in some water, wait for it to dissolve, and drink it. You take it a couple of times a day for 1-2 days before and the day of the trip. Tastes fine. My wife and I tried it on this trip. So far so good, neither of us got sick on the trip. Can't say it was the Airborne, can't say it wasn't, but it seemed like cheap insurance. I bought it at the local CVS or Walgreens. I should mention however, that we both got our flu shots the day before the vaccine news hit...talk about luck.
The other advice about washing hands and hand sanitizer is also good. I am always dismayed by the number of people that don't wash their hands in public washrooms, or after sneezing or wiping their nose.
One final piece of advice. I travel a fair amount, and I always try to be well rested and not sleep deprived and run down for the trip, both ways. This is hard to do with all the preparation, etc, but I think it really helps to avoid getting sick.
Enjoy your trip,
Paul Franklin
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