Airport security screening trays have more germs than a toilet

Such trays are covered in viruses that can cause everything from the common cold and flu to pneumonia bladder infections SARS and even brain damage the study found

Why going through security at airports could make you ill

In order to combat the germs all around you at the airport, the study's researchers recommend vigilant hand washing and practicing "careful coughing hygiene".

Next time you fly, approach airport security plastic security tubs cautiously, with a recent study showing these trays boast the highest levels of respiratory viruses at an worldwide airport.

Interestingly, no respiratory viruses were found on toilet surfaces, they said.

About 10 percent of what you touch at the airport is carrying a virus - and the most heavily infested place is one you can not avoid.

The study pointed out that handling the plastic security trays is nearly inevitable for travelers - unlike using airport store payment points, for example.

In 2017, researchers tested surfaces for respiratory viruses that were frequently touched at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland, reports CNN.

A new study has revealed the most germ-filled spot in an airport - and no, it's not the crowded waiting areas or the passport checking counter or even the bathrooms, as many would think.

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"These boxes typically cycle with high frequency to subsequent passengers, and are typically seized with a wide palm surface area and strong grip". Respiratory viruses detected on the trays included deno, influenza A, rhino and human corona OC43.

Although air travel has opened up a world of holiday possibilities, it's also increased the risk of infectious diseases spreading between countries and continents in short periods of time.

The report also commented on the dangers of spreading diseases domestically and internationally, stating: "They have the potential to be especially problematic if a severe pathogen with an indirect transmission mechanism were to pose a threat for global spread".

Virology expert Niina Ikonen from the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare said: 'The presence of microbes in the environment of an airport has not been investigated previously.

Such trays are also rarely disinfected, with their hard surfaces allowing viruses to survive for up to a day.

The scientists involved in the study warned that airports could spread disease and create a potential risk-zone. The researchers encouraged people to minimize the spread of viruses by hand-washing and coughing into their sleeves.

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