Going Through Airport Security Could Make You Sick

September 13, 2018

© Jaromír Chalabala | Dreamstime.com


There are plenty of things to be concerned about when you travel by air. And getting sick may be on that list. But even if you thought about all the ways you may have caught a cold, or worse, you probably didn't consider that plastic bin you dump your belongings into when you go through security before boarding your flight. Perhaps you should have.

Millions of travelers have dumped their shoes, laptops, keys, wallets, and tons of other things into those trays before you did. 

Scientists from the University of Nottingham in England and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare swabbed frequently touched surfaces at Helsinki Airport in Finland during and after peak hours and discovered traces of rhinovirus, the source of the common cold, and of the influenza A virus.

They found those germs on more than half of the trays they tested. Interestingly, none of those germs were discovered on any of the toilet seats in the airport.