Allegheny County health officials are urging residents to report any illness associated with fever and rash after a second case of measles in the county in the past month.
Measles. Why are we having measles outbreaks in the richest, smartest, most technologically advanced society the world has ever seen? We know why.
Researchers from Auburn University took two common, nasty bacteria and, in a lab, painted them on six surfaces that passengers routinely touch inside airplane cabins. The results are not heartening. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) lasted for 168 hours on the cloth seatback pockets where flyers store everything from magazines to iPhones. And a virulent strain of E. coli, which can cause severe abdominal cramps and vomiting, persisted for 96 hours on armrests, 72 hours on tray tables and 48 hours on that metal button you use to flush the toilet in airplane lavatories.
Lenny Bernstein has the money quote:
“The take-home message is be careful about your hand hygiene and don’t travel while contagious or immune compromised,” said Kiril Vaglenov, a post-doctoral fellow in materials science at Auburn, who led the research.
If you or your children are not immunized — completely and on time — then, in an age where air travel makes the world that much smaller, you must consider yourselves immune compromised.