Top 5 Places Where Germs are the Most Prevalent

Top 5 Places Where Germs are the Most Prevalent

Lauren Diffendarfer

by Lauren Diffendarfer

Medical Educator

posted on Apr 28, 2015, at 9:43 pm


GERMS ARE AN INEVITABLE PART OF LIFE. Everyone gets sick at some point, while some seem to constantly be fighting off a fever or the sniffles. There are, however, common places where germs continually linger and spread, increasing your risk for sickness and harming your health. We’ve gathered five of the most common places where germs stay to help you stay protected.

1. Public Restrooms
door knob covered in germs

While you can’t necessarily catch a disease from a toilet seat, germs can spread very easily from items like you purse or a diaper bag. The place where germs lurk the most within the confinements of a bathroom is actually the floor. There are several types of bacteria commonly detected, which include staph, strep, coliform, E-coli, and MRSA.

Contrary to popular belief, the toilet seat is actually the cleanest part of the restroom, typically because people tend to take better care and precautions where their bodies actually touch on the restroom.

To prevent the spread of germs in restrooms:

• Use your foot to flush
• Wash your hands thoroughly
• Use a clean and dry paper towel to open the door

2. Restaurants

This unappealing germ-lurking location is hard to admit, but unfortunately true. Restaurants are germy havens, but there are methods of prevention. According to, some of the top places where germs are present in restaurants are:

• Menus
• Lemon wedges (according to a 2007 study by the Journal of Environmental Health, about 70 percent of lemon wedges tested in restaurants contained about 25 different microorganisms like E-coli and fecal matter)
• Condiment bottles
Soap dispensers in restrooms

3. Workplace

You most likely work in an area where others work, which means your workplace is a place for the spread of bacteria. According to a study by Sitzman, who tested the amount of bacteria per square inch on 12 common workplace surfaces, the top places where germs are prevalent are:

• Telephones
• Desks
• Keyboards
• Mouse
• Fax Machine
• Photocopier

This means that more bacteria was found in personal spaces, opposed to more common areas such as kitchens or lobbies. Proper hygiene and routine disinfecting can help kill these germs to promote a safer workplace for both yourself and your co-workers.

4. Airplanes

You’re miles high, incubated within walls that have seen a countless number of passengers just like you. Ever felt sick while traveling or shortly after airtime? Airplanes are bound to be contaminated, but there are a few places where bacteria and viruses are more prevalent than others. According to, these are the top 6 six “germ zones” to be cautious around:

• Water
• Seat pocket
• Lavatory
• Pilows and blankets
• Tray table
• Meals

5. Hotels

Germ prevalence within hotel rooms is old news, as a commonly shared living space will inevitably contain left behind bacterium and viruses. According to, your risk of actually getting sick is pretty low, if the hotel staff utilizes proper cleaning techniques.

Some of the techniques you can do to ensure you do not get sick, however, are:

• Bringing your own sheets, pillows, and blankets
• Wearing socks or slippers instead of walking barefoot
• Wipe down germ-prone surfaces with disinfectant wipes
• Check for bed bugs
• Consistently wash your hands

Stay healthy! Be aware of your surroundings and practice preventative techniques to ensure the safest and cleanest experience you can, regardless of where you are. By doing so, you can be the healthiest and happiest version of yourself.

We want to know: Have you completed your Spring-cleaning? Comment below!

References: Sitzman, Kathy. “Workplace Germs.” AAOHN Journal 54.7 (2006): 336-336.

About Lauren

Lauren works as the Medical Educator for the Disque Foundation and has worked closely with us since 2014. She is a full-time student pursuing a BS in Biology at Indiana University as a recipient of the Chick Evans Caddy Scholarship and hopes to attend medical school to become a physician in the future. She is certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and she is also a certified Basic Life Support Instructor for the American Heart Association. She stays heavily involved with health care in and out of her local community, helping plan and coordinate Disque Foundation events, teaching lifesaving skills to the communities and organizations that we serve and volunteering at her hometown hospital in the Birthing Unit.


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