Germ-laden places in New York City - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

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>>

  • Manhattan nursery school uses sanitizing machine to keep air clean

    Manhattan nursery school uses sanitizing machine to keep air clean

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:50 AM EDT2014-07-25 11:50:43 GMT
    All of us feel the same way about "cooties": Eww. At the Goddard School on the Upper West Side, a high-tech machine is keeping "cooties" out of the classroom. "This is the latest and then most effective sanitization method available today," says Bill Swan, the owner of the Goddard School. He purchased the ZONO Sanitech for his school about six months ago. The machine is the size of a double refrigerator and uses oxygen to kill viruses and bacteria.
    All of us feel the same way about "cooties": Eww. At the Goddard School on the Upper West Side, a high-tech machine is keeping "cooties" out of the classroom. "This is the latest and then most effective sanitization method available today," says Bill Swan, the owner of the Goddard School. He purchased the ZONO Sanitech for his school about six months ago. The machine is the size of a double refrigerator and uses oxygen to kill viruses and bacteria.
  • Should you ever ask a woman if she's pregnant?

    Should you ever ask a woman if she's pregnant?

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:52 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:52:11 GMT
    Is she or isn't she? How about her? Her? Him? (Looks it.) She definitely is. (I think.) Have you ever see a woman coming down the street and want to ask "Are you pregnant?" We human beings are curious creatures. It turns out even some 4-year-olds want to know. Justin Otero is now banned for life from the Doughnut Inn in Monroe, Connecticut. It was a harsh price to pay, some say, for such a seemingly innocent mistake.
    Is she or isn't she? How about her? Her? Him? (Looks it.) She definitely is. (I think.) Have you ever see a woman coming down the street and want to ask "Are you pregnant?" We human beings are curious creatures. It turns out even some 4-year-olds want to know. Justin Otero is now banned for life from the Doughnut Inn in Monroe, Connecticut. It was a harsh price to pay, some say, for such a seemingly innocent mistake.
  • Americans shop local and organic for health and ethics

    Americans shop local and organic for health and ethics

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-07-24 22:13:49 GMT
    Five years ago, Sonia Zutic made a life-changing decision: she decided to eat with a conscience. Sonia is among a growing number of adults who swear by food that's strictly organic and free of additives and preservatives. Many have decided that ethical eating is no longer a trendy fad, but is a blueprint to life.
    Five years ago, Sonia Zutic made a life-changing decision: she decided to eat with a conscience. Sonia is among a growing number of adults who swear by food that's strictly organic and free of additives and preservatives. Many have decided that ethical eating is no longer a trendy fad, but is a blueprint to life.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

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