Top 'virus hot zone' at airports: Plastic bins used at security screenings

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In public places such as airports, viruses inevitably lurk in every corner. Countless people make contact in planes, waiting areas and bathrooms every day.

"Flying probably accelerated the spread of the H1N1 virus in 2009," said Dr. Alison Galdy from the University of Minnesota Infection Prevention as quoted by Travel+Leisure.

Fox 9 reported several "virus hot zones" in airports that should be avoided, such as toilet handles, armrests on chairs, kiosk screens and handrails. However, the riskiest item is the plastic bins used during security screenings.

It is said that travellers dump everything from toothbrushes to children's diaper bags into them on a regular basis. The trays are also rarely cleaned.

According to healthcare company the Mayo Clinic, the flu virus can survive on stainless steel, plastic and similar hard surfaces for more than 48 hours. This increases the chances of viral transmissions to humans through contact.

Travelers should also avoid touching their faces too often because it spreads germs quickly. Fox 9 reported that people touch their faces subconsciously as often as three to five times an hour. (iru/kes)