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 Post subject: Hotel Guests Leave Plenty of GERMS Behind
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:03 pm 
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Hotel guests leave plenty of germs behind

September 29, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- [b]Hotel guests leave behind more than just socks and old paperbacks: A new study found viruses on TV remotes, light switches and even hotel pens after cold sufferers checked out.

The germ testing was done before the rooms were cleaned, so it probably overstates the risks that most travelers would face. Nevertheless, it shows the potential hazards if a hotel's turnaround amounts to little more than changing the sheets and wiping out the tub.

"You sure hope the cleaning people were good," said Dr. Owen Hendley, the University of Virginia pediatrician who presented results of the study Friday at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Besides hotel hazards, the findings point out things that people may not think to clean in their homes when someone has a cold.

"We know that viruses can survive on surfaces for a long time -- more than four days," said Dr. Birgit Winther, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the university who led the study.

Its aim was to test the survival of rhinoviruses, which cause about half of all colds, especially in children.

Researchers had 15 people with lab-confirmed rhinovirus colds spend a night in individual rooms at a nearby hotel and, after they checked out, tested 10 items they said they had touched. About one-third of the objects were contaminated with rhinovirus.

"We were surprised to find so many," Winther said.



READ MORE HERE

Catherine

Can you imagine the germs on computers used in public libraries and school computer labs?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:14 pm 
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Doesn't surprise me...especially coming from San Fran (where I just moved from).

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:43 pm 
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I really dislike staying in hotels. They're uncomfortable places regardless of how much you pay. However, one of the best was in Charleston, SC in the Historic District. Another was a Residence Inn in Lubbock, TX. But the top of the line was the renovated former brothel my husband and I found in Port Townsend, WA. We had Miss Kitty's room!

Catherine

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:40 am 
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A brothel, huh? Interesting... My mom helped me move out here to Florida a few months ago, and along the way one night, we were already tired, and the winds were blowing so fiercly that we decided to rest for the night. We ended up staying in the one decent looking place in the city...a hotel. The "city" was terrifying. We drove up and down this strip trying to find some kind of fast food to eat at 4 am, and it looked like a ghost town. I've never been more terrifyed in my entire life! I was frieked out just driving down the street.! Anyways, I'll have to find out what city that is, so that all may be wary...

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:57 am 
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really doesn't surprise me, but I think I'll try to bring along some antibacterial wipes or spray next time we go somewhere. At home I'm very conscience of door handles and light switches when someone is sick, but guess I'll do the same when we travel. Catherine I had to laugh about you not liking hotels. I can only think of one that I wasn't comfortable in. It was in Pizza Italy if I remember correctly, and it was only because some guys in our hotel wouldn't quit calling us on our phone and kept me awake. I would have unplugged the phone but it was an old hard wired one. THEN there was no shower curtain in the bathroom, so water would spray all over, and I woke up with bed bug bites over quite a bit of my body! Yep, that's the only hotel that I didn't find comfort at. lol


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:34 pm 
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Actually Nina, I prefer B&Bs when I'm traveling. My husband likes Hiltons, so if we can find them, that's where we often stay.

Speaking of cleaning door knobs and light switches, there's one other place that I think is vastly neglected by cleaners of hotel rooms and maybe even by most people at home...that's the commode flusher, or handle, whatever you call it. We use the commode, wipe, and reach back to the flusher/handle and push it down. THEN we wash our hands (hopefully). Think about it.

When I'm cleaning the bathrooms here at home, I always make sure the commode flusher/handle gets a good scrubbing, followed by antibacterial spray. I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on the bathroom sinks. I put some of that on a small piece of toilet paper and wipe the handle/flusher down before I leave the bathroom after each use. It causes me to have to wash my hands twice but that's ok.

It's just a habit I developed from teaching school as long as I did, even though we teachers always used the teachers' designated bathroom.

I was in a hotel in London...had fantastic heated towel racks! My friend and I had twin beds...very comfortable...One evening we'd returned from the theatre and, before going to bed, we noticed that the curtains were wide open. We pulled the cord but they wouldn't budge. The windows were incredibly high and my friend decided she'd climb up on the window sill and give the curtains a good yank. She asked me to hold onto her legs so she wouldn't fall. She got up there, yanked the curtains, lost her balance, and instinctively leaned into the window to balance herself. I was holding tightly to her jeans-clad legs and that was a good thing!

The upper part of the entire window popped open and my friend almost went through head first! She screamed bloody murder. There was another building across the alley..don't remember what it was...but there were some service doors on the ground floor of the other building that opened into the alley. In one of those doors, unbeknownst to us, there was a homeless person taking shelter! My friend's screams scared him so badly, he threw off his blanket of newspapers and went skedaddling out of the alley at top speed.

After my friend had wobbled down from the window sill, we got on the phone and called the front desk. They sent up a maintenance person at once who fixed the window and the curtains. He said there wasn't much he could do about the nerves of the homeless person.

We had a big laugh and gave him a large tip. Naturally, we did not do anymore climbing on the window sills of English hotels.

Catherine

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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
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~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:56 pm 
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Oh my gosh! First I had my hand to mouth thinking of what was going to happen to your friend, but ended up laughing at your story! That poor homeless person. I remember being in London too, and of course being from a small northern state town had never really seen a homeless person. Well you know what London is like. There are homeless people everwhere! I remember dropping a few pounds in some guys bag that was walking in front of me in the underground. He didn't know I had done it, but I wonder if they fell through a hole he may have had in the bag. Just broke my heart seeing all those people litterally in rags. :cry:


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:31 pm 
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Nina wrote:
Oh my gosh! First I had my hand to mouth thinking of what was going to happen to your friend, but ended up laughing at your story! That poor homeless person. I remember being in London too, and of course being from a small northern state town had never really seen a homeless person. Well you know what London is like. There are homeless people everwhere! I remember dropping a few pounds in some guys bag that was walking in front of me in the underground. He didn't know I had done it, but I wonder if they fell through a hole he may have had in the bag. Just broke my heart seeing all those people litterally in rags. :cry:


Welcome to San Francisco! I've always felt bad just walking by the homeless, knowing how horribly helpless, lonely, regected, and desperate they may feal. Some people have very harsh views on homeless, and how they deserve it because they weren't more responsible. That makes me sad. I know that some may be there because of drugs or alcohol abuse, but there's also a lot of people who've had their houses burn down and lost everything they have, and such. Once you're in that position it's hard to come back out. You can't get a job because you're not properly dressed or showered, and then with no job you have not money, not to mention no place to live...it's just such a horrible circle. I don't give money to homeless when asked, but do, instead, offer to buy them a sandwich while inside the store. I don't feal comfortable handing out money to perfect strangers, but I also want to help, even if it's just a little.

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