Some of the most harmful and resilient bacteria that is on airplanes may not be from the sneezing person sitting next to you. In a conference last week of the American Society for Microbiology, a study revealed that the germs are mostly on the upholstery of the chair, the tray table and the metal buttons in the lavatory.
According to this new research partially funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, harmful bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphyococcus aureus (MRSA) and E. Coli can live up to one week on airplanes that are not sufficiently cleaned.
In this study, a team of microbiologists and engineers at Auburn University in Alabama simulated travel in the friendly skies. They obtained various parts of the cabin – seats, upholstery and leather, metal items such as the toilet flusher, armrests, window shades….in order to test various types of bacteria and see how long it could survive on those surfaces. All together, researchers tested for six different types of bacteria. They found that MRSA could last up to 168 hours on the back of an airplane chair, while E. coli survived on average up to 96 hours on the material on the armrest.
Experts say that the dry air found in airplanes fuels the survival rate of the bacteria on surfaces.
Health experts recommend passengers carry alcohol-based hand sanitizers while traveling. Also, they suggest you wash your hands frequently and not to touch your face, mouth or nose.
In the future, I hope that the FAA takes this information from this study and puts it to good use. We need better cleaning of our aircrafts…
My advice, take the first flight out on the day and have plenty of wipes on hand!
Another way to fight off the germs is to have a strong immune system. Chiropractic adjustments and whole food supplements strengthen the nervous system which controls the immune system.