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Bacteria Survive for Days in Airplanes

By Rene Ehrhardt [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Bacteria Survive for Days in Airplanes

Next time you board a plane, you may want to have some disinfectant on hand. Researchers have found that the disease-causing bacteria Escherichia coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can last for days within an airplane cabin, Time reports. The pathogens were placed on surfaces commonly touched in planes—including armrests, plastic tray tables, and window shades—to see where they thrived best. MRSA lasted a week on material from a seatback pocket, and E. coli survived 4 days on armrest material. The findings were presented at the meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Boston, which comes to a close today.

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