MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Before you take your next flight, you may want to take along a little extra hand sanitizer.

New research shows bacteria can hang around on airplane surfaces for more than a week.

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Researchers from Auburn University exposed six common airplane surfaces with MRSA and e-Coli, including the armrest, the plastic tray table and the toilet handle.

MRSA lasted longest on the the seat pocket where magazines are kept.

E. Coli survived longest on the armrest.

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Experts say the dry air in the cabin helps the bacteria survive.

Researchers advise passengers to follow good hygiene as a precaution.

“They should use some kind of alcohol-type sanitizer,” said James Barbaree, Auburn University researcher. “I just make sure to wash my hands. I don’t touch my face, my mouth, my nose.”

Researchers say the airlines are working on more effective cleaning and disinfecting strategies.

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