Hotel Germ Study

By Ben Wolf
Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Hotels line the I-75 exits, welcoming travelers going to and from the Peach State.

A new study shows that American hotels give guests more than a good night's rest though; they supply a not so healthy dose of germs.

"Bacteria and viruses do live on those objects and so that's one of the reasons we recommend good hygiene to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses because their goal is to continue to live just like anything else does," said Dr. Danielle McFarland.

The study results presented to the American Society for Microbiology show that viruses can survive on surfaces more than four days despite hotel staffs doing everything possible.

"When a guest checks out we go in and take out everything they leave behind, be it trash, dirty linen, that type of thing. We change everything that the guest comes in contact with," said local hotel manager Raymond Upchurch.

It just doesn't matter how hard they clean.

"Even though they're antibacterial soaps and detergents, they don't always remove most of the bacteria from any surface," said Dr. McFarland.

Doctors say that common sense hygiene practices like cleaning hands frequently and using fresh towels are your best bet when traveling.

During the study viruses were commonly found on hotel pens, TV remotes and phones.