WKYT's Germ Test: the worst? Our men's room

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Chances are you or someone you know has been sick this winter. Flu season is at its peak. So WKYT decided to find the places where the most germs linger. And the results even surprised us.

It's easier to talk about them then to actually see them. Germs are everywhere.

"They're in the dirt. They can be in the air. They can be on this desk," explains Eastern Kentucky University Professor Dr. Marcia Pierce, "the more someone handles an item, the more likely there are to be germs."

We took samples of ten surfaces and put them to the test. We swabbed the bottom of a purse, a cell phone, a gas pump, the handle of a shopping cart, a crosswalk button, a door handle, a keyboard, cash, and the toilet seat inside both a women's and men's restroom.

Fast forward about two weeks - and we had dish after dish of bacterial growth. By far, the worst of our samples came from the WKYT men's restroom.

"Men's versus the women's and you can tell women are cleaner than men," noted Dr. Pierce.

Dr. Pierce says normally when her students do similar tests, the toilet seat samples grow less bacteria than office keyboards, cash, gas pumps, or shopping carts. All four of those samples looked a whole lot cleaner than our toilet seat sample.

"This is cold and flu season. Those are both viral diseases and so yeah, you could have viruses very much on there, but you wouldn't see them," explained Dr. Pierce.

We did not test for viruses, however, Dr. Pierce says there is a greater possibility one is present if there's a large amount of bacteria in a sample. She recommends washing hands frequently to keep germs away, and avoid touching your face.

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