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posted: 5/26/2014 5:30 AM

Your health: Yuck! Germs live up to a week on planes

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  • All those germs from sick people linger on airplanes for up to a week, so be sure to pack your hand sanitizer.

    All those germs from sick people linger on airplanes for up to a week, so be sure to pack your hand sanitizer.


Germs on a plane

Don't touch that armrest! That was the bad news for airplane travelers today as researchers released results showing that some of the deadliest germs can live for up to a week on airplane seats, tray tables, armrests, and other surfaces, Forbes reports.

In fact, think of the germiest surface you can imagine --­­ a toilet flush handle, perhaps? Your airplane armrest is way worse, say Auburn University researchers James Barbaree and Kiril Vaglenov, who presented some stomach-churning research today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

With help from engineers, Auburn's team of microbiologists conducted a pretty straightforward experiment and found both MRSA and E.coli bacteria present on a variety of airplane surfaces, mostly plastic.

But here's the kicker: while the plastic surfaces were a little less welcoming to the bacteria, they provided a more efficient mode of transportation. In other words, while MRSA may last just five days on your armrest, it jumps happily from there to your hands.

Corset comeback?

Everyone from Kim Kardashian to Jessica Alba claim corsets helped them get their bodies back more quickly after having babies, according to ABC News.

Now, women everywhere are sharing photos of whittled waists on social media and crediting "waist training" -- the 21st century version of corset training.

Many of them are like Lancaster entrepreneur Cass Butler, who not only sells latex waist-shapers, but wears one herself eight to 10 hours a day.

"Not only am I the president, I'm a client," she joked.

Women who swear by the waist cinchers say they are weight loss tools that double as shapewear by creating a smooth silhouette underneath clothing, free of bumps and bulges.

Butler said in eight to 10 weeks you can expect to lose at least 2 inches off your waist. Over time, she said, you should see a real change in the body's overall shape. Some medical experts are even more doubtful.

"So the question has been, do they cause harm?" asked Dr. Alfred Johnson, who specializes in internal medicine and women's health. "The answer is yes... they can if you tighten them too tight. If people use them before they are fully mature and while they are still growing, it can cause deformities."

Johnson said any weight or inches lost are because the waist-trainer compresses the stomach, forcing the wearer to eat less. "If you squeeze it too tight, it affects the organs," he said "It can affect your digestion. It can affect the bowel movements."

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