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5 not-so-obvious places that can make you sick

By: Matt Hickman on Dec. 5, 2011, 8:28 a.m.
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli

Photo: NIAID/Wikimedia Commons [CC by 2.0]

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Hello, E. coli

With cold and flu season upon us, we've been thinking about infectious diseases and nasties like E. coli (pictured). More specifically, we've been thinking about how to steer clear of them without resorting to pandemic masks and filling our bathtubs with Purell. While there are a ton of obvious places that scream "germs!" — gyms, airplane bathrooms, waiting rooms, kindergarten classrooms and petting zoos to name a few — there are plenty of bacteria-ridden hotspots outside of your home (which, we hate to break it to you, is the germiest location of all). Here are five often-overlooked places.