BAC­TE­RIAL BREED­ING GROUND

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - UPFRONT -

YOU’RE more likely to catch some­thing from a check-in kiosk than the toi­lets, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port from travel in­surance site In­surance­quotes.com.

Re­searchers dis­patched to three ma­jor US air­ports found that the most germ-laden sur­faces, by far, were airline self-ser­vice check-ins. Swabs re­vealed 253,857 “colony-form­ing units” (CFUs) of bac­te­ria and fun­gus per square inch – far more than the av­er­age of 172 CFUs found on toi­let seats. One sam­ple con­tained more than one mil­lion CFUs.

“With mass amounts of traf­fic, self check-in is the quick-stop for many fly­ers. It may of­fer more con­ve­nience, but at what cost?” the re­port said.

Other air­port germ hotspots in­cluded gate seat arm­rests (21,630 CFUs) and drink­ing foun­tain but­tons (19,181 CFUs). Aboard air­craft, the sur­faces trav­ellers would best avoid touch­ing in­clude lava­tory flush but­tons (95,145 CFUs), seat tray ta­bles (11,595 CFUs) and seat­belt buck­les (1,116 CFUs).

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