By now, you’ve probably seen the video.
Flight attendants have struggled to cover up the long line of diarrhoea that one unfortunate passenger trailed the length of an aisle on a recent Delta flight and the flight, travelling from Atlanta, US, to Spain has to turn back to be deep-cleaned.
People on board the plane shared on social media that the flight crew had done their best to try and clear up the mess with paper towels and vanilla-scented disinfectant, but the effect meant the plane just smelled like ‘vanilla shit’. Lovely.
However, after eight hours and a brand new carpet later, the travellers boarded back onto the plane ready to go on their holiday.
People responding to the video online have mostly been empathetic, leaving messages like: “I feel so sorry for that person. I hope they’re okay cos I can’t imagine the whole WORLD knowing about this.”
Another agreed, writing: “I can’t imagine the embarrassment the person felt.”
But what do you do if you’re dealing with a dodgy tummy on the day you need to fly?
According to the CDC, travellers’ diarrhoea is the most common travel-related illness, with the highest-risk locations of picking up the health issue being in Asia (except for Japan and South Korea) as well as the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, and Central and South America.
While not life-threatening in most cases, it can make for… an uncomfortable flight to say the least.
Wash your hands often
If you’re dealing with a stomach bug, it’s important to keep on top of your hygiene to avoid spreading it to the rest of the plane, too. If you’re really ill, make sure to alert the flight attendants, as they might be able to resit you closer to a toilet while in the air. It’s embarrassing, but better than getting stopped short in the middle of an aisle.
Be picky with what you’re eating
Super fibrous foods like broccoli, beans, lentils (anything that makes you pass gas, basically) should be off the cards until you’re back in top health. Bland, easy to digest foods are your best friend — mashed potatoes, porridge, bread, etc.
Pack some medication, just in case
If you often pick up bugs on holiday, it would be sensible to pack a little first aid kit in your carry-on luggage that includes some Diarolyte, a drink that quickly replenishes your body with essential minerals and salts to help reduce dehydration. And it’s also good for hangovers… Just saying.
Drink lots of fluids
According to experts, diarrhoea can cause a “tremendous loss of water and electrolytes in a short amount of time” due to how much water you’re expelling when you go to the toilet. It’s important to hydrate yourself with water, juice and non-caffeinated herbal teas.