Smart Woman: Airplane Bacteria

Published 05/20 2014 10:25PM

Updated 05/20 2014 10:31PM

Airplane cabins are known to be a hotbed for germs. Now researchers from auburn university have discovered just how long certain bacteria can last on common airplane surfaces. Dr. Kiril Vaglenov explains that findings indicate that MRSA and e Coli remain on these surfaces for over a week.

In a lab, researchers exposed six airplane surfaces to both bacterias - the arm rest…the leather seat… the plastic tray table… the seat pocket where magazines are kept… the window shade… and the toilet handle… mrsa lasted longest on the seat-back pocket. E. Coli survived longest on the armrest.

 Experts say the dry air in the cabin helps the bacteria survive. Researchers advise passengers to follow good hygiene as a precaution. James Barbaree, PhD suggests that people should use some kind of alcohol type, sanitizer and do what they can to minimize the risk : The FAA partly funded this study.

Researchers say the airlines are working on strategies to minimize the risk. The researchers plan to look at effective cleaning and disinfecting strategies for future studies.

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