While airport security is there to keep us safe, a new study found they may be causing you to get sick.
Germs: no one likes them and we try to avoid them at all costs. We spend so much time washing our hands and trying to sanitize to ensure we don’t contract any illnesses. Unfortunately, that’s still not enough to prevent us from catching some viruses.
According to the New York Times, a study done by Scientists at the University of Nottingham in England and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare found traces of rhinovirus after frequently touched surfaces in the Helsinki Airport were swabbed during and after peak hours. Rhinovirus germs are the same germs that are responsible for the common cold as well as influenza A.
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Traces of the virus were found on half of the luggage trays, which is more than any other surface they tested. The same germs were also found in the children’s play area, payment terminals, and stair handrails. The interesting thing was that no traces of the virus were found on toilets.
Many of the things we touch on a regular basis harbor and can spread germs. Things such as our cell phones, household sponges, and other household cleaning items are notorious for spreading unwanted germs. However, air travel is known to accelerate the spread of diseases such as the flu, worldwide.
A researcher suggested that airports install more sanitizing stations near areas of intense repeat touching. The researcher also stated: “People can help to minimize contagion by hygienic hand washing and coughing into a hankerchief, tissue or sleeve at all times but especially in public places. These simple precautions can help prevent pandemics and are most important in crowded areas like airports that have a high volume of people travelling to and from many different parts of the world”