Hey Germ-a-phone, you’ll want to pay attention. Here’s a list of the dirtiest places on airplanes and in airports. Charles Gerba, the University of Arizona microbiology professor who is also known as “Dr. Germ” has compiled the list toting his swab kits onto numerous flights across the U.S.
On an airplane, the most unhealthy place are those tray tables you use to eat off, put your laptop on and set your books on. Coming in just behind it are the handles to the lavatory and the latch to the overhead bins.
Gerba notes that on tray tables and overhead bin latches he found the influenza virus, diarrhea, and MRSA, noting those locations are seldom cleaned or disinfected but are touched a lot.
Gerba’s study notes that on an average airline flight, up to 50 people used the lavatory, but less than 40% washed their hands, and on as many as 75 will use the bathroom.
Surprisingly, E. coli was found on the handles to the sink in lavatories on at least 41% of flights. Gerba reasons that because the tap water shuts off automatically after just a few seconds, passengers must repeatedly press it again and the sink is small, allowing all those dirty hands to touch the sink bowl and edges.
Gerba’s best advise, use hand sanitizer after using an airplane lavatory, or better yet, just hold it.
As for the airports,… self-serve ticketing kiosks, handles to toilet stalls and the walls and handrails on the inside of jetways were the worst according to studies performed by several health authorities.
But not all airports are equal, with Phoenix Sky Harbor, Charlotte Douglas and Orlando International ranking among the cleanest. Bring up the dirtiest were Newark, LAX, and Miami.
Medical experts say your best defense, especially during holiday travel times when the flu virus spreads especially prolific, is to get your flu shot, avoid congested areas, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
Here’s a list of top dirty places: Gas station pump handle Fast food restaurant door handles to the bathroom Fast food trash can swinging doors
The list goes on but basically, anywhere there is high traffic volume that requires someone to push/pull/grab something with their hands.
The CDC estimates about 5 million people a year get sick with the cold, flu and E.Coli sickness from simply touching those surfaces then touching their face before washing their hands.
Read more Florida local news here.