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Hotel-room surfaces can harbor viruses

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2:40pm, October 9, 2006

From San Francisco, at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

Rhinovirus, which is responsible for roughly half of all common colds, survives on surfaces in hotel rooms for hours and can be transferred from there to people, a study shows.

J. Owen Hendley, a pediatrician at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, and his colleagues obtained mucus samples from 15 people who had active rhinovirus infections. The scientists then invited each participant to spend a night in a hotel room. Each person was instructed to remain awake in the room for at least 5 hours in the evening and to spend at least 2 hours there the next day.

Afterward, the researchers tested several surfaces in the rooms, such as television remote controls, doorknobs, telephones, and light switches. In all, 52 of 150 tested surfaces had detectable rhinovirus traceable to the study participant who had stayed there.

To re-create the

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