The frightening rate at which germs are spread could be dramatically diminished thanks to a door handle that kills bacteria upon contact.
According to the Society for Science & the Public, the cylinder-shaped handle was invented by Hong Kong's Sum Ming Wong, 17, and Kin Pong Li, 18.
The device costs just $13 to make, despite the inclusion of various components.
The handle is coated with a powder form of titanium dioxide, which was previously discovered to kill bacteria.
Titanium dioxide is mostly used in products like sunscreen and edible pudding.
Its germ-killing ability, however, works best when it's exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays, so the teens stick an LED light inside of each door handle.
A small box is attached to the door and connected to the handle via a wire.
Kinetic energy forms within the box when the door moves, and the box converts the energy into electricity that gets transferred to the handle.
In other words, the handle's UV light turns on, and the powder kills the germs when someone grabs the handle to open or close the door.
A lab test determined the handle was able to kill 99.8 percent of germs it came in contact with.
The device was displayed at the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh.
Vying for the top prize were 1,072 finalists from more than 70 countries.