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Hong Kong’s Bathrooms are “Reservoirs of Drug-Resistant Bacteria”

Hong Kong’s Bathrooms are “Reservoirs of Drug-Resistant Bacteria”
Jennifer Billock

Despite all the protests and civil unrest, frequent travelers are still grabbing cheap trips to Hong Kong — but a new study about bathroom bacteria there may sway some travelers away from visiting the destination, or at least convince them to do a better job washing their hands in the local restrooms.

There may be a lot of protesting going on in Hong Kong, but FlyerTalk forum users aren’t going to let that stop them from nabbing cheap trips to the destination. Recent studies on the cleanliness of bathrooms there, though, may have some people thinking twice about visiting.

According to a new study by Polytechnic University’s nursing school, Hong Kong’s public bathrooms are “reservoirs of drug-resistant bacteria.” The study showed that of the three strains of Staphylococcus bacteria found, 87 percent of it was resistant to at least one antibiotic, and a fifth of the bathroom bacteria was resistant to up to five antibiotics.

“Washroom users avail themselves of the handwashing and hand-drying facilities provided under the impression that these amenities are hygienic,” Dr. Lorna Suen Kwai-ping, associate professor of Polytechnic University’s nursing school, told the South China Morning Post. “However, such facilities may be potential sites for the transmission of pathogenic bacteria. Attention should be paid to the potential risks of recontamination of hands from contaminated washroom facilities and surfaces.”

Internal door handles had the most bacteria, followed by jet air dryers, warm air hand dryers, paper towels, and paper towel dispensers. The study showed that gender plays a pretty big role, as well—most of the drug-resistant bacteria strains were found in men’s rooms.


[Image: Shutterstock/simona flamigni]

View Comments (2)



    November 12, 2019 at 6:10 am

    No surprise there… I’m amazed at the number of men who do not wash their hands after using facilities.

  2. arcticflier

    November 15, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    This article is excellent reason to not wash ones hands in public restrooms! Also why a bow is better than a handshake or high five.

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