Study looks at bacteria on a plane

Health
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(CNN)- With flu season and holiday travel season converging on us, it may be a good time to think about germs in airplanes.

A study by Auburn University looked at how long two potentially deadly bacteria, e-coli and MRSA, can live on airline surfaces.  They checked things like toilet handles, tray tables and seat pockets.

On the more porous surfaces, think seat pockets or armrests, the bacteria lived as much as a week.  They survived up to four days on hard surfaces.

The researchers did not test actual aircraft cabins, and the airlines do have cleaning policies.

However, one study by the University of Arizona in 2007 found 60-percent of airline tray tables from 3 major airlines, tested positive for the superbug, those resistant to anti-biotics.

A professor quoted in the Auburn University study recommends travelers use hand sanitizer before putting anything in your mouth and give the tray table a swipe with an anti-bacterial wipe as well

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