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Tags: bacteria | e coli | enterococcus | feces | Klebsiella | keyboards | thrush

Self-Checkout Screens Contain Large Amounts of Sickening Bacteria, Germs

couple checking out at self-checkout

By    |   Monday, 05 December 2022 04:19 PM EST

Warning: New research findings might make you want to vomit, literally. A recent study found thousands of bacteria with potential to sicken on several everyday objects touched by multiple people. The British scientists tested swabs taken from self-service checkout screens, escalator handrails and other surfaces. They found feces, vomit-producing E. coli and even Candida albicans, a bug commonly found in the vagina, mouth, throat, and gut that triggers thrush, on these surfaces.

According to Study Finds, fecal bacteria and microbes can lead to urinary tract infections. E. coli, which causes vomiting was present on nearly all the surfaces. Shoppers may also be at risk if they share their desk with others at work. Intestinal microbes that cause a range of infections were found on computer keyboards. The findings were confirmed by scientists at the Infection Innovation consortium (iiCON) in Liverpool, England.

Chief researcher Adam Roberts reports self-checkout screens had a particularly high viral load.

“The self-checkout samples had one of the highest bacterial loads, as we found five different types of potential disease-causing bacteria surviving on them,” he said. “This included Enterococcus, which is found in human feces and, while this is usually harmless, it can of course lead to disease, particularly in those who may have weakened immune systems.

“We found multiple examples of E. coli and a bacteria called Klebsiella on computer keyboards,” he added. “While both exist naturally in feces and intestines, given the right environment, they are able to cause quite severe diseases in humans, so it’s vital that we wash our hands before and after eating when working on a computer.”

Roberts warns it is vital for shoppers to wash their hands frequently, especially after going to the bathroom.

“It’s vital to try to minimize their effects in terms of infection prevention and control, so when we touch our mouths or go to the toilet and don’t wash out hands, we’ve likely got bacteria from these places on our hands which can then transfer to other things — and subsequently to other people,” he said. “If those individuals are more susceptible to infection than you are, there may be a problem.”

The study is part of a campaign called “Simple Things,” says Study Finds, that was launched when researchers discovered two-thirds of people are concerned about the transmission of infectious diseases this winter. There are four key messages that can help reduce the spread of illness, say experts: Handwashing for at least 20 seconds, sanitizing surfaces, keeping a distance from those who are ill, and covering coughs and sneezes.

The study results proved that there are multiple bacteria living on objects we touch every day that are completely invisible to the eye.

“Surfaces may look clean but can be covered in bacteria,” noted Matt Ashton, director of Public Health at Liverpool City Council. “But there are simple things we can do to prevent the spread of them and stop the transfer completing its cycle. Hospital admissions for illnesses like Norovirus and flu always spike at this time of year, but we can take steps to reduce how quickly germs transfer from one person to another, by simple keeping our hands clean — washing them after going to the bathroom and before and after we eat.”

© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Warning: New research findings might make you want to vomit, literally. A recent study found thousands of bacteria with potential to sicken on several everyday objects touched by multiple people. The British scientists tested swabs taken from self-service checkout screens,...
bacteria, e coli, enterococcus, feces, Klebsiella, keyboards, thrush, fungus
Monday, 05 December 2022 04:19 PM
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