Flip-flops may be deadly to your health, says scientists, as dangerous dirt can coat your feet at the end of the day walking around town.
Lab tests of two reporters' flip-flops worn for four days, revealed a potentially deadly germ - Staphylococcus aureus - prowling on the rubber. If the bacteria enters a cut on your foot, which is common in the summer, it can enter the bloodstream and can kill you if left untreated.
"It can make you pretty sick if it got into a wound and into your blood, where it could attack any of your internal organs," says Dennis Kinney, Ph.D, the manager of the microbiology lab at EMSL Analytical. "If you didn't treat it with antibiotics, you could die from it."
The researchers found that the two reporters' flip-flops attained about 18,100 bacteria of the five most common ones found - all this only accumulated within four days.
"If you wear shoes for three months, 93% have fecal bacteria and 20% have E. coli," says Dr. Charles P. Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona.
Other bacteria found were common, non-disease-causing ones, but there were more dangerous ones also present. For example, Aerococcus viridians and Rothia mucilaginosa were present, which are bacteria normally from the mouth.
This means as people were spitting, if they had a sickness, you could pick it up. Among the other bacteria you could pick up could also include ones from garbage and rat faeces.
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