The next time you stay in a hotel, you might want to do some cleaning before you kick off your shoes and turn on the television. A report presented at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology revealed some surprising areas of contamination. Among the worst were TV remotes and bedside lamp switches. Less surprising, toilet seats and bathroom sinks also harbored high levels of bacteria. All these surfaces had coliform bacteria, an indicator of potentially dangerous contamination. Sponges and mops on the housekeepers’ carts also tested positive for the presence of microbes that could be transferred from one room to another.
While hospital rooms get much more thorough cleaning with antibacterial cleansers, some surfaces like computer keyboards and possibly even TV remotes may not always get the extra attention they deserve. Perhaps families should take antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers along the next time they visit a hospitalized relative.
[2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology held June 16-19, 2012 in San Francisco, California]