MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Before you take your next flight, you may want to take along a little extra hand sanitizer.
New research shows bacteria can hang around on airplane surfaces for more than a week.
Researchers from Auburn University exposed six common airplane surfaces with MRSA and e-Coli, including the armrest, the plastic tray table and the toilet handle.
MRSA lasted longest on the the seat pocket where magazines are kept.
E. Coli survived longest on the armrest.
Experts say the dry air in the cabin helps the bacteria survive.
Researchers advise passengers to follow good hygiene as a precaution.
“They should use some kind of alcohol-type sanitizer,” said James Barbaree, Auburn University researcher. “I just make sure to wash my hands. I don’t touch my face, my mouth, my nose.”
Researchers say the airlines are working on more effective cleaning and disinfecting strategies.