NEW YORK (CNN) – Potentially deadly bacteria not only linger on airplanes but can stick around for days. A new study from Auburn University finds that dangerous germs like MRSA and E-coli are thriving on planes.
It’s really amazing how long these potentially deadly bugs can live on the surfaces that all of us touch when we’re on an airplane. CNN happened to fly from Atlanta to Los Angeles, a five hour flight, to look at where these bacteria can live. On a window shade for example, MRSA can live for five days. MRSA is a bacteria that is resistance to most antibiotics. On leather seats, MRSA can live for six days.
On a tray table, MRSA can live for five days and E-coli “O-1587,” which is the dangerous kind, can live for three days. The place where the bacteria lived the longest was actually the seat pockets, that seat pocket in front of you that contains the emergency information.
In the cloth seat pockets, MRSA lived for seven days. It is important to note that the cloth prevented from spreading easily because basically the bacteria kind of got absorbed in the cloth.
Delta Airlines said, “we are so concerned about this that we actually gave the Auburn University folks the arm rests and tray tables and all their surfaces so they could do their testing.”
Delta also says they wiped down their surfaces, all their surfaces, every day. It’s also important to note the Auburn University researchers didn’t go to actual planes and try this experiment, that of course would have been dangerous. They took the equipment Delta gave them and used it in their own labs and they simulated the atmosphere so it would be like a regular pressurized airplane cabin.
Now of course having heard this, You’re probably wondering what can i do? The answer really is quite simple. Take alcohol-based wipes and wipe down these surfaces. It really is very easy to do and after the flight you can use hand sanitizer to clean your hands.