Saturday, March 5, 2011

The world is their Petri dish

The average person harbors at least 10-fold more bacterial than human cells. So I smile whenever I read articles like this one. I guess we're supposed to be shocked, just shocked, to find that densely populated human environments are, well…..not sterile.

Given the range of behavior displayed in public transit systems (245 complaints of urinating and defecating in one year? really??), it makes sense to design the environment with surfaces that are easily cleaned and disinfected. Routine efforts to document microbial contamination in such environments are mostly a waste of time and money. Call me if you’re planning such an effort in your municipal transit system. For half the cost, I’ll predict with uncanny accuracy what you’ll find…..

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of a recent episode of Big Bang Theory in which Sheldon Cooper talks about his bus pants, which are the pants you wear over your pants when using public transportation to keep your regular pants free of microbial contamination.

    Also, this week's Time Magazine's health blog has an article about MRSA on airplanes. See: http://healthland.time.com/2011/03/03/5-ways-to-survive-plane-travel-unscathed/slideshow/2/ . I think that there should be a new rule that everyone flying should have to wear plastic gowns and gloves while on the plane to prevent MRSA from being carried off the plane. Flying is already a miserable experience, so adding contact precautions wouldn't be all that bad.

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