Mercy's Dr. Michael Zimring, Director, Wilderness And Travel Medicine Center, Offers Tips On How To Stay Healthy When Aboard An Airplane

February 20, 2012
Dr. Michael Zimring, Director, Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine at Mercy

Dr. Michael Zimring, Director, The Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine

With spring and summer hard upon us, it’s time to start thinking about warm weather vacations…which for many, means jumping an airplane to some tropical isle or other fun destination.

Of course, whenever you start putting people in crowded, confined spaces—like aboard a passenger jet liner—concerns about health begin to rise. How can one “fly the friendly skies” and be sure to land healthy?

Mercy’s Dr. Michael Zimring, Director, The Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine, offers these tips on staying healthy when flying:

1. stay hydrated-helps prevent blood clots in the legs which can go to the lungs

2. get up and about every hour and walk as much as possible - helps prevent clots

3. avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee and soda- causes dehydration which contributes to clots - same goes for alcohol BEST WAY TO STAY HYDRATED—WATER

4. use the bathroom towels to turn the knob when leaving the bathroom to prevent you from picking up germs.

5. going back to your seat you tend to hold onto tops of seats thus getting germs left behind by the previous person.—carry alcohol based soap in solution or wipes to wash hands.

6. someone start sneezing- take a mask and put it on or better yet try to get the person sneezing to wear it.

7. bring a healthy sandwich on board rather than eating the junk the airline serves

8. read a copy of my book, HEALTHY TRAVEL: DON’T TRAVEL WITHOUT IT (Basic Health Publishing) while flying and learn more!

Dr. Zimring is a graduate of the University of Maryland Medical School and joined Mercy Medical Center in 1973 as part of University’s residents program. His clinical background includes study in geriatric and emergency medicine. Dr. Zimring has been in private practice since 1976.

In 2007, Dr. Zimring successfully completed the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM)'s Certificate of Knowledge Examination and has been awarded the Certificate in Travel Health. According to correspondence from Phyllis Kozarsky, M.D., Chair of the Examination Committee, and Frank von Sonnenburg, M.D., ISTM resident, successful completion of the exam proves Dr. Zimring demonstrates "an expertise in the profession and a solid knowledge of travel medicine."

Dr. Zimring oversees The Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine at Mercy which offers immunizations for travel, pre- and post-travel consultations, treatment for travel-related medical conditions, and even coordination of emergency medical care and evacuations. The Center utilizes the resources of Medex Assistance which ensures the availability of competent health care as promptly as possible in situations where health care may not be available or not be up to U.S. standards. The Center also provides medical evaluation and certification for scuba diving and medical preparation for the traveler for:

  • Chronic disease management
  • Tropical disease exposure
  • Environmental hazards
  • Traveler’s diarrhea
  • High altitude adventure
  • Third World/Underdeveloped Countries
  • Wilderness experience
  • “Economy Class Syndrome” (development of venal thrombosis, i.e. blood clots, typically a problem for travelers forced to sit for long periods during air travel)

The Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine at Mercy is located in Suite 711 of the Professional Office Building at Mercy Medical Center, 301 St. Paul Place in downtown Baltimore. For more information about Dr. Zimring and his book, HEALTHY TRAVEL, visit



Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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