I get sick a lot less now that I don't have to commute on the tube everyday. Before that I was ill at least every few weeks and tended to have a constant cold all winter as I got another one each time the previous cold came to an end. I also suffered from frequent sickness bugs. I had assumed that all the illnesses were caused by being packed into a train with lots of people who were coughing or sneezing. It appears, however, that there are more bugs about than I originally suspected. This article suggests that one in four commuters has bacteria from faeces on their hands. It is based on a study carried out by scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. They swabbed 409 people at bus and train stations in five major cities in England and Wales and found that many people do not wash their hands properly after using the toilet. People who used the bus had dirtier hands than those using the train and manual workers were found to have cleaner hands than other professionals. The further north they went the more dirty hands they found with men in Newcastle being the worst offenders.
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