The closed quarters of an airplane make a lot of people nervous about what in the recirculated air in the plane. What they should be worried about isn't in the air, but on the surfaces in the plane.

As we head into the cold and flu season, it's important to know where in an airplane you're most likely to be exposed. A Huffington Post report looked at several studies and found there are seven places in an airplane you are most likely to come in contact with germs.

  1. Armrests
  2. Tray Tables
  3. Door Handle Inside Lavatory
  4. Toilet Flush Button
  5. Lavatory Faucet Handles
  6. Blankets
  7. Toilet Seat

It is not surprising the most touched surfaces would have the most germs. What is surprising is some of the germs, including E. Coli and MRSA, could survive not just hours, but days on that surface if not properly disinfected.

The biggest risk for fliers wasn't coming in contact with germs, but transferring the germs from their hands and arms to their eyes, nose and mouth where they could spread throughout the body.

Your best defense is to not touch any of these surfaces, but that's basically impossible. The next best defense? Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer. The TSA limits the amount you can carry to 3.4 ounces, (make sure it's in a ziplock type bag), but that should be plenty to get you to your destination.

Also, do your best not to touch your face with your hands until you've had the opportunity to give your hands a good washing. Oh, and don't use the blankets on the plane. If you chill easily, pack a light jacket or a small blanket in your carry-on.

[Huffington Post]