You’re not going to enjoy reading this post, but you will appreciate having the knowledge!
You may have read or heard that toilet seats at public places (such as airports) have actually a lower concentration of viruses and bacteria compared to most other places.
This is true: multiple studies have confirmed that.
Public toilets should not be your biggest concern of “catching something” in public places: there are FAR WORSE places for that!
In fact, a new study from Finland (link to study: https://wb.md/2zPP9BR) has shown that the HIGHEST concentration of viruses in an airport are the plastic trays used at X-Ray machines! You know, the ones where you put your wallet, keys, laptop, jacket, belt, shoes, etc…
In fact, that same study also showed high concentration of viruses in other locations at the airport, including: shop payment terminals, railing on stairs, passport checking counters, and children’s play areas.
This is not all that surprising: remember that MOST viruses and bacteria are spread by “contact”, which means by “touching something”.
The parts of the body MOST EXPOSED to such contact are the hands: people often touch their face, transfer viruses to their hands, touch various surfaces, touch their face again, etc…
Other studies have shown that the highest concentration of viruses and bacteria on planes are arm rests, TV screens, plastic trays, door handles, remote controls, buttons, etc. Basically surfaces which people touch with their hands.
In hotel rooms, the highest concentration is on light buttons, TV remote, A/C control buttons, and the phone!
Bottom line is this:
If you want to be safe in public spaces, avoid surfaces likely to be touched by the hands of other people: avoid grabbing the rail when on stairs, don’t put your hands on sales or passport counters, etc…
Also use sanitiser after using credit card / ATM machines, wipe down buttons and TV when you take your seat on a plane, and wipe down light buttons and the phone in your hotel room.