It’s a fact: About 90 percent of the shoes we wear have some degree of E. coli on the soles. “Wash your hands after handling your shoes and be sure to use shoe bags when you pack a suitcase,” says Elizabeth Hirsch, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. “The best defense against superbugs like MRSA – which can be resistant to antibiotics – is to use good hand hygiene and wash your hands often, especially after using public spaces or restrooms.”
During a trip, your suitcase rolls across sidewalks, parking lots, train stations, hotel lobbies and other potentially dirty places. You probably also take it into the bathroom stall in the airport, where you grab the handle before you’ve washed your hands. “I always think about the handle when I’m in the bathroom at the airport,” says Dr Hirsch. “Try to grab it with toilet paper and definitely wipe it down after every trip. It’s more about the ick factor than disease transmission, but I wash my hands after handling my suitcase.”
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