Could your flip-flops kill you?

Wearing flip-flops in the summer sun could increase your risk of contracting a potentially fatal disease

Wearing flip-flops in the summer sun could increase your risk of contracting a potentially fatal disease, researchers in America have revealed.

Lab tests on two pairs of $3.49 flip-flops revealed the presence of approximately 18,100 bacteria, accumulated after journalists wore the shoes to walk around New York City for just four days.

‘If you wear shoes for three months, 93% have fecal bacteria and 20% have E. coli,’ Dr. Charles P. Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona told The Daily News. While some of the bacteria found were common, non-disease-causing staphylococci, more dangerous offenders lurked underfoot. Aerococcus viridans and Rothia mucilaginosa, bacteria that normally reside in the mouth, were present.

‘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, the manager of the microbiology lab at EMSL Analytical. ‘If you didn’t treat it with antibiotics, you could die from it.’

‘It’s not a good sign,’ adds Kinney. ‘It means that people are spitting. If someone were sick and spitting on the ground, you could pick something up.’ “Staph aureus can be pretty dangerous,” says Kinney. ‘This strain isn’t methicillin-resistant (MRSA), but it is Staph aureus, and it can still cause infections – typically boils and skin infections.’

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