Hours the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, at left, lasted on the cloth seat back pockets in airplanes. And a virulent strain of E. coli, which can cause abdominal cramps and vomiting, persisted for 96 hours on armrests, 72 hours on tray tables and 48 hours on that metal flush on the toilet. "The take-home message is be careful about your hand hygiene and don't travel while contagious or immune compromised," said Kiril Vaglenov of Auburn University. He added, "I don't think it's more dangerous than being at the movie theater." Washington post