Germ-laden places in New York City - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

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>>

  • Two babies get herpes during ritual circumcision

    Two babies get herpes during ritual circumcision

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:19:03 GMT
    The New York City Department of Health has issued an alert after two babies were diagnosed with neonatal herpes this month after undergoing a ritual Jewish circumcision called metzitzah b'peh.  In this type of circumcision the mohel sucks blood directly from the infant's cut penis.  The infants need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous acyclovir.
    The New York City Department of Health has issued an alert after two babies were diagnosed with neonatal herpes this month after undergoing a ritual Jewish circumcision called metzitzah b'peh.  In this type of circumcision the mohel sucks blood directly from the infant's cut penis.  The infants need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous acyclovir.
  • New York adults gather for skipping club

    New York adults gather for skipping club

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:36 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:36:57 GMT
    Meet one fitness class that's spreading positivity and shedding pounds by skipping in a skipping club. Michelle Joni is the group's founder. She came up with the idea when she was heading to get a manicure and it was so cold she started skipping to stay warm.
    Meet one fitness class that's spreading positivity and shedding pounds by skipping in a skipping club. Michelle Joni is the group's founder. She came up with the idea when she was heading to get a manicure and it was so cold she started skipping to stay warm.
  • Affordable Care Act

    Federal courts issue contradictory rulings on Obamacare subsidies

    Federal courts issue contradictory rulings on Obamacare subsidies

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:30 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:30:22 GMT
    President Barack Obama's health care law is enmeshed in another big legal battle after two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday. A divided court panel in Washington called into question the subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people pay their premiums, saying financial aid can be paid only in states that have set up their own insurance markets, or exchanges.
    President Barack Obama's health care law is enmeshed in another big legal battle after two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday. A divided court panel in Washington called into question the subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people pay their premiums, saying financial aid can be paid only in states that have set up their own insurance markets, or exchanges.
Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

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