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CODE YELLOW: Wintry Mix Possible

A wintry mix is falling this morning in middle TN. It could cause problems in the morning commute. Temperatures around the freezing mark could cause some slick spots to form with freezing rain, sleet and some rain mixed with snow through 10AM.


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STUDY: Bacteria on Planes Can Last For Days

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FOX News--With the recent spread of the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-Cov) to the United States via airplane travelers, it's inevitable that summer vacationers will wonder whether the planes they travel in are serving as incubators for germs and bacteria.

"Any time you have people crowded into a situation, sometimes for a long period of time, you often wonder, 'What is the chance of me catching this and that?'" James Barbaree, associate director for research at the Auburn University Center for Detection and Food Safety in Auburn, Alabama, told

In a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Barbaree and his Auburn University colleague, Kiril Vaglenov, decided to analyze the survival of two common types of bacteria in airplane-like conditions: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and E. coli O157:H7.  


MRSA is a type of antibiotic resistant staph bacteria which can cause skin and other infections. It is estimated to kill 19,000 people every year in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. E.coli O157:H7 is most well-known for causing foodborne illnesses. 

"With E.coli O157:H7, there have been a lot of foodborne illness outbreaks in the last 15 to 20 years actually and with MRSA, everybody is concerned about MRSA and MRSA is found all over the place, so these organisms are kind of common organisms to us," Barbaree said.

The researchers tested the duration of the two pathogens on six types of materials obtained from an unnamed major airline: an armrest, plastic tray table, metal toilet button, window shade, seat pocket cloth, and leather. They exposed the items to each pathogen, and then left them in an incubator which mimicked typical airplane conditions to see how long the pathogens could survive.

Overall, MRSA survived the longest - 168 hours - on material from a seat-back pocket. E. coli O157:H7 survived longest - 96 hours - on material from an airplane armrest.
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