The passport checking counter? They have more viruses than even the bathroom toilet seats.
British and Finnish researchers did a swab test on most frequently used and touched surfaces around at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport in 2016 to quantify the number of viruses in the high-traffic site. You'll have to use the airport's dirtiest spot at some point during your travel. Four out of eight samples contained the rhinovirus or adenovirus which is responsible for causing colds or flu-like symptoms.
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The researchers also called on airports to make available "hand sanitization opportunities where intense, repeat touching of surfaces takes place such as immediately before and after security screening".
"They found evidence of viruses on 10 percent of the surfaces tested and most commonly on the plastic trays that are circulated along the passenger queue at the hand luggage X-ray checkpoint".
"The new findings support preparedness planning for controlling the spread of serious infectious diseases in airports", she said in a statement posted by at Nottingham University, that partnered the research.
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"The presence of microbes in the environment of an airport has not been investigated previously", shared Niina Ikonen of the Finnish National Institute, a virology expert who was involved in the study.
Those plastic airport security trays-so convenient, so light.so filled with germs and bacteria.
The study published in the journal BioMed Central Infectious Diseases on August 29 revealed that at least one respiratory virus, including influenza A and B, was found in 9 out of 90 surfaces inside the airport. "People can help to minimize contagion by hygienic hand washing and coughing into a handkerchief, tissue or sleeve at all times, but especially in public places".
"Of course, interacting with these surfaces, whether before you fly or on board, is no guarantee of picking up a virus", according to CNN.
No matter where you are, it's a good idea to wash your hands to reduce your chances of getting sick.