Airport security trays carry more germs than the toilets

Airport security trays carry more germs than the toilets

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A new study found that half of plastic airport security trays were harbouring at least one respiratory disease such as influenza.


A new study found that plastic trays at airport security harbour the highest levels of viruses at airports.


A team of experts from the UK’s University of Nottingham and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare tested swabs from surface samples at Helsinki Airport during the peak of the 2015-2016 flu season.


Publishing in the BMC Infectious Diseases journal, the most common virus found was rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.


The swabs also picked up the influenza A virus.


“We found the highest frequency of respiratory viruses on plastic trays used in security check areas for depositing hand-carried luggage and personal items,” the scientists wrote in their journal article.


“These boxes typically cycle with high frequency to subsequent passengers, and are typically seized with a wide palm surface area and strong grip.”


The plastic trays where passengers are required to put their shoes in before passing through the x-ray machines, were found to have highest levels of viruses.


The researches warn that other places to be wary of are ATM machines, staircase rails, passport control counters and children’s play areas.


Previous studies have found that one in five people become ill after flying.