The next time you fly, the sneezing, sniffling passenger might not be the only risk to your health. A recent study by the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University has shown that dangerous bacteria – like MRSA and E.Coli can survive for days on airplanes.
In a two year study to determine how long MRSA and E.Coli could survive on commonly touched surfaces. Researchers collected samples from armrests, the fold down tray, the seat, toilet handle, the seatback pocket, and the window shade.
When researchers examined the samples, they found MRSA survived for up to 7 days on the back of a seat, while E.Coli was able to up to four days on an armrest.
While airlines are working on how to minimize passengers exposure to potentially dangerous bacteria, experts suggest you can reduce your risk of catching something next time you fly by washing your hands frequently when you travel and wiping surfaces down with hand sanitizer.