Bacteria can Linger for Days on a Plane; Here are the Biggest Trouble Spots for you to Watch

How to avoid germs that cause illness:

Be mindful of the germ-infested spots: The headrest and seatback tray table are some of the most affected parts of an airplane.


Flight attendants have seen people change a baby's diaper on the tray table.


Other dirty spots include the seat belt, toilet flush button and air vent.


Be wary at the airport, too: a TODAY investigation found the presence of E. Coli, klebsiella and Acinetobacter in the plastic bins in the TSA security line. "They're all bacteria that we find normally in our intestines, so we call them fecal bacteria,'' Dr. Susan Whittier of Columbia University Medical Center said. "It just means that those surfaces are contaminated with poop.


"Keep hand sanitizer gel or anti-bacterial wipes in your pocket and use them during your journey.Ultimately, the best defense isn’t an arsenal of bleach wipes, but simple hand hygiene, Schaffner said: “It’s another reminder to wash our hands.” Do it routinely throughout the day, but especially before you eat. Don’t put your unwashed hands in your mouth or rub your eyes.


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