November 5th, 2009
11:30 AM ET

How to dodge germs in the time of H1N1

Elizabeth Cohen
CNN Senior Medical Correspondent

On a recent flight from San Francisco, California, to Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Julie Gerberding was thrilled to get bumped up to first class. The thrill, however, quickly disappeared: As she did her victory walk to the front cabin, she noticed that the woman in the seat next to hers was hacking up a lung.

"She was on her cell phone, saying, 'I feel miserable. I just know I have swine flu,' " Gerberding remembered. "I thought to myself, 'Oh, great.' "

For the duration of her transcontinental flight, Gerberding played viral roulette as she sat shoulder-to-shoulder next to Ms. Sneezy in a confined space.

Gerberding, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had a few strategies for avoiding this woman's germs, some of which you can use on planes, trains, automobiles and anywhere else if you get stuck next to Typhoid Mary - or, in this case, H1N1 Mary.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Elizabeth Cohen • H1N1
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