May 20th, 2014
09:31 AM ET

E. coli, MRSA can survive for days on planes

Ever sit on a plane and wonder how long the germs left by passengers past plan on hanging around?

A new study examined how long two potentially deadly bacteria – E. coli and MRSA – can live on various surfaces inside an airplane’s cabin, and how easily they are transmitted by contact.

Researchers at Auburn University used actual armrests, toilet flush handles, tray tables, window shades, seats and seat pockets provided by Delta Airlines for the study – inoculating them with bacteria and storing them in conditions meant to simulate a pressurized cabin: 75 degrees Fahrenheit at 20% humidity.

In general, bacteria lived longest on the most porous surfaces. For example, MRSA lasted seven days on the cloth seat pocket, six days on the rubber armrest and leather seat, five days on the plastic window shade and tray table, and four days on the steel toilet handle.

E. coli, by one measure, survived four days on the rubber armrest, three days on the plastic tray table, and two days on the steel toilet handle.

“In small nooks, like the ones created by a pore, they are protected from environmental stressors like dehydration, UV and disinfectants,” said the lead study author, Kiril Vaglenov.

But the same porous material properties that protect bacteria from threats also seem to prevent them from spreading easily.

By contrast, the bacteria on less porous materials like tray tables, toilet handles and window shades scored much higher than seat pockets and leather seats for transmissibility – meaning bacteria on these surfaces were far more likely to transfer to human skin.

"The best thing you can do to protect yourself when flying is: Before you put anything into your mouth, bring some alcohol hand sanitizer and sanitize your hands. It's all about risk mitigation," said Michael Schmidt, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina.

“After I wipe my hands, I use the rest of the alcohol wipe to wipe down the tabletop, just in case I touch it and inadvertently eat something.”

The study did not take bacterial samples from actual aircraft cabins.

“We have efficient cleaning specifications that are standardized across our entire operation before all departures and on aircraft that remain on the ground overnight,” Delta Airlines said in response to the study. “This includes removing all trash, wiping down all countertops, surfaces and seats, cleaning floors and replacing and restocking pillowcases and blankets among several other procedures.”

The study was supported by funds from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Airliner Cabin Environment Research Center.

soundoff (741 Responses)
  1. gravel near me

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this web site needs much more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the information!


    June 21, 2021 at 06:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Repair Seal Beach

    Great info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!


    June 21, 2021 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. u-haul near me


    June 21, 2021 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Mercedes Sprinter Repair Near Me

    You have made some really good points there. I looked on the net for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.


    June 21, 2021 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. landfill near me

    I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your Feed too.


    June 21, 2021 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Chris Lawson

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs


    June 21, 2021 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Dodge Van Frame Repair Kit

    Great post. I will be experiencing some of these issues as well..


    June 21, 2021 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. pharmaceptica

    buying sildenafil 100mg https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Frieghtliner Sprinter Abs Module Repair

    I was very pleased to discover this web site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely liked every bit of it and i also have you book-marked to check out new things on your site.


    June 22, 2021 at 02:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Fiberglass Van Roof Repair


    June 22, 2021 at 05:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Winnebago Van Repair


    June 22, 2021 at 06:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Nearby RV Repairs

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and don't manage to get anything done.


    June 22, 2021 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Extended Van Repair


    June 22, 2021 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Appliance Repair Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 08:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Conversion Shop


    June 22, 2021 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Repair Santa Ana


    June 22, 2021 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV And Trailer Repair Near Me

    Good site you have here.. Itís difficult to find high quality writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 22, 2021 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV And Camper Repair Near Me

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this amazing site needs much more attention. Iíll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the info!


    June 22, 2021 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Furnace Repair Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Specialty Van Repair

    I blog often and I truly thank you for your information. The article has really peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.


    June 22, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Water Repair Man Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. bema podcast

    bookmarked!!, I like your website!


    June 22, 2021 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV And Trailer Repair Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repair Centers Near Me

    Good information. Lucky me I came across your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!


    June 22, 2021 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Emergency RV Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 02:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Local Marketing Consultants

    Everything is very open with a really clear description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 23, 2021 at 03:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Digital Marketing Specialists

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Thanks a lot!


    June 23, 2021 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Internet Marketing Agencies Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. curso mestres do bitcoin 3.0 2021

    I truly appreciate this blog article. Really Great. 512056486


    June 23, 2021 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Electrical Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repair Center Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 09:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Refrigerator Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. bobby lee podcast


    June 23, 2021 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Engine Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. weather near me


    June 23, 2021 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. trực tiếp bóng đá nhà cái

    Xoilac Tv Trực Tiếp Soccer ty le bong daĐội tuyển futsal nước ta đã có được một trận đấu đồng ý được trước đối thủ đầy sức mạnh Lebanon. Kết trái Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước thời điểm hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất nước Việt Nam.


    June 23, 2021 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Service And Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Sales And Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Awning Repair Near Me

    I absolutely love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you create this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím wanting to create my very own site and would love to know where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Cheers!


    June 23, 2021 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Social Media Marketing Agencies Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV And Truck Repair Near Me

    I blog often and I really thank you for your content. This article has really peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.


    June 23, 2021 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 24, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. SEO Marketing Companies

    Excellent blog post. I certainly appreciate this website. Thanks!


    June 24, 2021 at 02:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Content Marketing Specialist


    June 24, 2021 at 03:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 24 Hour RV Repair Near Me

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who had been doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me dinner due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your internet site.


    June 24, 2021 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Best RV Repair Shop Near Me

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 24, 2021 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. napa auto parts near me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article plus the rest of the website is also very good.


    June 24, 2021 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Local Marketing Service

    I was able to find good info from your content.


    June 24, 2021 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 24, 2021 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Camper RV Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Leave a Reply to rv furniture california


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.