Germ-laden places in New York City - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Germ-laden places in NYC

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

You may start your day at the ATM, getting some cash. You touch the screen and the press the keypad, and don't think anything of it. Then it's on to the ticket machine to get a MetroCard or ticket, touching another screen, then up the escalator while you are holding the handrail. Germs, germs, germs: they are everywhere.

We went around New York swabbing for coliform on places you touch every day: gas pumps, escalators, elevator buttons, taxi cab screens, ATMs, escalators, ticket machines. What we found may surprise you.

Thirty percent of the cultures showed fecal contamination, said Dr. Philip Tierno, the director of clinical microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Center, who cultured the specimens.

"Where you find evidence of feces you may in a certain number of tested places find a pathogen that may make you sick," Tierno said.

Our results found E. coli on the ticket machines screens and keypads in Grand Central, Penn Station, and Union Square.

There was more E. coli at ATMs in Penn Station, Port Authority, and in Union Square.

Even though we didn't find E. coli on taxicab screens, we did find environmental organisms such as bacillus, micrococcus, rhodococcus, mucor, and a fungus.

There is some good news to report. We swabbed the Manhattan Mall escalator and the Port Authority elevator, and they both came up clean.

While we didn't test for the flu virus, everyplace you do touch you leave your germs and you may be picking up someone else's.

"80 percent of all infections are transmitted by contact--direct and indirect," Tierno said. "Direct like coughing, kissing, sneezing; indirect like touching a surface that has been touched by somebody previously, then touching your mouth, eyes and nose."

Tierno, the author of "The Secret Life of Germs," said that germs can last hours or even up to a day on some surfaces, so places that you frequently touched pose the greatest risk.

"That's why we say that when you enter your office or your home wash your hands," Tierno said. "You've touched a lot of surfaces, you have been in a lot of places, and washing your hands goes a long way towards protecting your health."

  • HealthMore>>

  • FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes

    FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes

    FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes blood test detects unique autoantibody (dailyRx News) While Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes share some traits, treatments for each condition...
    FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes blood test detects unique autoantibody (dailyRx News) While Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes share some traits, treatments for each...
  • Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver

    Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver

    Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver Diabetes and heart disease risk drops in prediabetes patients who regain normal blood sugar (dailyRx News) Blood sugar levels that are high but not high...
    Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver Diabetes and heart disease risk drops in prediabetes patients who regain normal blood sugar (dailyRx News) Blood sugar levels that are high but not high enough to...
  • Do you have a soul mate?

    Do you have a soul mate?

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 10:25 PM EDT2014-08-27 02:25:51 GMT
    Fox 5 found that romance is almost completely alive and well in Harlem. The notion of one a soul mate, your better half, the one and only is thriving. Maybe have Cinderella or rather reality television to thank for this notion.Sadly, new research shows if you believe your partner is your soul mate your expectations may be to high when times get tough.
    Fox 5 found that romance is almost completely alive and well in Harlem. The notion of one a soul mate, your better half, the one and only is thriving. Maybe have Cinderella or rather reality television to thank for this notion.Sadly, new research shows if you believe your partner is your soul mate your expectations may be to high when times get tough.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices