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How Long Do Viruses Survive in a Hotel Room?

Withchilly weather on its way in the Northern Hemisphere, it's time toremind you how important it is to keep your immune system strong bytaking preventative measures, none of which have anything to do with atoxic drug, against colds and the flu. A new study from the University of Virginia vividly describes why one of the easiest steps you can take -- washing your hands -- is one of the most important things you can do while traveling.

To determine how long viruses survive in common settings, 15patients with rhinovirus colds spent the night in a hotel room.Afterward, researchers tested 10 common objects -- among them doorhandles, pens, light switches and phones -- for signs of contamination.

No surprise, seven doorknobs, six pens, TV remotes and door switchesand five phones tested positive for the cold virus, as did alarmclocks, shower curtains and coffee makers. Overall, more than a thirdof the things patients touched in their hotel rooms were infected witha virus. If this makes you squeamish about staying in a hotel room, Idon't blame you...

The important thing to remember about playing "keepaway" from coldsand the flu: Stay away from antibacterial soaps especially thosecontaining triclosan that create germs resistant to other soaps.

Yahoo News September 29, 2006

Yahoo News September 29, 2006

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