For those of you who took my advice and plan to take a break from work and pursue a much needed vacation -- great! For those of you who will be staying in a hotel on your vacation -- beware! You may have unwanted guests lurking in your room.
I'm sure many of us have heard people comment about the disgusting findings in hotel rooms, ranging from dirty bed linens to unsightly shower surfaces. In addition to commonly dirty toilet basins, dirt may be lurking in places not visible to the eye, according to an article in USA Today.
The next time you go for the television remote or the light switch, just remember, you are not alone. A small study conducted by researchers at Purdue University, the University of Houston, and the University of South Carolina claim that many bacteria are found on uncommon surfaces such as television remotes and light switches.
In nine rooms sampled in three states, levels of bacteria on the remotes and light switches exceeded hospital standards. Though the high levels of bacteria don't raise an alarm in themselves, the test swabs contained coliform bacteria, which are commonly associated with fecal contamination. At high levels, this can pose a health risk.
Interestingly, bathroom door handles tested to be one of the cleanest surfaces, along with curtain rods and bed backboards. I don't know about you, but I was relieved to hear that curtain rods were one of the cleanest surfaces.
So what can we do to protect ourselves from becoming sick?
Well, short of carrying around a microbiology kit or a black light, we just need to be cognizant about hand washing and/or carrying around hand sanitizer. In addition, it is really helpful to read hotel reviews online. I commonly use Trip Advisor. If a hotel receives several bad reviews on cleanliness, then more than likely the room has contamination elsewhere not visible to the naked eye.
Speaking of black lights, some hotels will soon be going high-tech as housekeepers will be scanning rooms with black lights and UV wands to seek and destroy potentially harmful bacteria.
Now, it's time to start packing for your much needed vacation, and don't forget the flip flops. Not only will you need them for the beach, you will need them to walk around your hotel room... the bathroom floor turned out to be contaminated as well.
Goda della vostra vacanza!