As I write this blog, I’m downing Cold and flu tablets and drinking plenty of tea with honey whilst I’m on my death bed suffering with a serious case of Man Flu*.
The condition shared by all males wherein a common illness (usually a mild cold) is presented by the patient as life-threatening.
This is also known as ‘Fishing for Sympathy’ or ‘Chronic Exaggeration’.
I woke up on Friday morning feeling fine and dandy, looking forward to a busy and hectic day in the operating theatre where I work. The 5:30am walk to the tube station is something I rather enjoy, 30 minutes of alone time where I can clear my mind and enjoy listening to some podcasts or music.
I got on the central Line tube and sat in my regular seat where I always sit. I’ve perfected the art of finding the seat which when I get to my destination is in the exact correct position by the exit of the platform this meaning less wasted time walking to the exit. ( I know- quite nerdy I know!)
Whilst reading the Metro Newspaper, I noticed in the corner of my eye,A business man on the way to work (I’m assuming) sweating like mad, red runny nose and sneezing like crazy. He was only a few seats away from me. This didn’t really bother me and I carried on reading the newspaper. Before I knew it, the tube was pulling into Bond Street Tube station, this is my stop for work. I got out of the tube station and headed to the hospital.
Not long after I arrived at work, I started sneezing, my nose started to run and the dreaded cough started to tickle my throat. Dam!! I’ve got the frigging virus from the man on the tube.
My colleagues at work gave me lots of sympathy (NOT!) as I used the last of the tissues.
On my mid-morning Coffee break, I started to do some research about how dirty the London Underground is and came across a recent study by some Researchers from London Metropolitan University who had analysed buses and trains across London to test their cleanliness.
I started to read this report and not surprised read that Nine of the world’s most dangerous superbugs are thriving on The London Underground.
The study found 121 different bacteria and moulds in total, and it revealed that the Tube is the dirtiest way of travelling around the city compared the Buses.
The Victoria line is the dirtiest line with 22 several types of bacteria found, including four of the world’s most threatening bugs.
Swabs taken on the London Underground grew Staphylococcus Aureus – a bacteria known to cause toxic shock syndrome as well as E. coli.
The study, carried out in conjunction with taxi insurers Staveley Head, found the Circle and Piccadilly lines were the next dirtiest, both home to 20 bacteria.
The Metropolitan line was the least dirty, with 11, followed by the Bakerloo and Hammersmith and City on 13 and 14 respectively.
In total, nine bacteria from the World Health Organization’s list of drug-resistant bacteria that pose the biggest threat to human health were found on the Tube.
The researchers also swabbed hand rails, seats and walls, found that London’s buses were a much cleaner option, with 37 bacteria recorded. Compared to 95 bacteria found on the London Underground.
Bacteria from rodents like rats and mice was also found on the Underground, as was bacteria found in faeces.
A recent Freedom of Information request revealed earlier in 2017 that the only Tube lines where seats are washed are the Bakerloo, Victoria and Central, compared to the other lines which are simply brushed.
So next time you’re travelling on the London Underground, you might want to wash your hands thoroughly with Hot water and soap before tucking into your Coffee and croissant.