Air Travelers Facing Foot
Diseases For 'Security'
From Patricia Doyle, PhD

Hello Jeff - There are numerous health risks for air travelers, everything from transmission of H5N1, respiratory diseases and other infectious diseases, not to mention stroke and heart attacks after sitting in place for many hours on long flights. Now, in the name of "SECURITY" ?? we can look foward to transmission of various foot disease pathogens.
IF the transportation security adminiistration is going to continue the practice of making people remove their shoes and walk on unsanitary flooring, then "paper slippers" should be provided to travelers.
Patricia Doyle
Transmission Of Dermatophytes And Tinea Pedis In US Airports
Having spent some time with mycotic infections, I am startled to see that the Transportation Security Administration, who supposedly monitors airports, "strongly" suggests that passengers remove their shoes while passing through the lines in American airports. The penalty for not doing so is an intimidating delay in which a total body scan for such contraband as glasses frames and wrist watches is conducted, whereupon you still are required to remove your shoes and to stand around on unkempt airport carpets while your shoes are X-rayed! If you do as "suggested," you must march 10 to 15 feet either barefoot or in stocking feet to a point where one's shoes may be reclaimed. This is evidently because a demented passenger attempted to ignite his shoes with either matches or a cigarette lighter, already prohibited.
Unless I am terribly mistaken, one's flora are being mixed with that of several hundreds of thousand of passengers who have passed through the same lines. The floors are rarely cleaned (evidently) and never disinfected. Has simple hygiene been forfeited in the US in the name of "security?" When the TSA finally answered a query, they told me that OSHA had approved the cross contamination of hundreds of thousands of feet. The CDC, NIH, WHO, or state or local health departments were not consulted. National Security indeed.
ProMED thanks Dr. Fox for alerting us to this previously unrecognized danger stemming from the common security practice in US airports. Though a disgusting and unaesthetic procedure, the people at highest risk must obviously be airport security staff. Studies documenting increased risk of dermatophytes and/or tinea pedis, and increased risk of respiratory tract symptoms like asthma or allergic alveolitis, is clearly highly needed. - Mod.EP ................ep/msp/mpp
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health



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