Germs refer to the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa that can cause disease. They are very resilient. They can, and do, live everywhere. They are found in the air, land and water. They appear on food, plants and animals as well as on almost any kind of surface. They even appear on you.
Contrary to popular belief, not all germs will harm you. In fact, your immune system normally does an outstanding job of protecting you against a plethora of infectious agents. There are some germs, however, that are constantly mutating. As a result, those germs have become quite formidable adversaries and are able to penetrate the defenses of your immune system.
Two of the best ways to protect against germs are to wash your hands frequently and to know where the hot spots for germs are. Everyone is exposed to at least one of six of the hottest spots for germs on a daily basis.
These spots, which will be explained more in depth in the listing, are:
- eat-in trays
- office kitchens
- vacuum cleaners
- public soap dispensers
- hotel light switches
- dining extras
The trays in quick-serve and fast-food eateries can be covered with up to five times more bacteria and viruses than what’s on the floor. Either set your cartons or plate on the table when you sit and clean your hands with a hand sanitizer or get your food to go and let the paper bag act as your serving bag.
The office kitchen is where everyone eats, coughs, sneezes and touches surfaces, especially the faucets. Before eating, clean the faucets with a disinfecting wipe to lower bacteria levels. If there are no wipes handy, use a paper towel to turn the taps.
100% of vacuum cleaner brushes and powerheads are packed with mold; at least 51% test positive for fecal bacteria. Vacuuming can spread these germs from contaminated areas to cleaner ones. Spritzing vacuum brushes with a disinfectant spray, such as Lysol or Clorox, after every use will reduce this problem.
Ironically, dispensers in public restrooms are often so germy that the soap can also become contaminated. The result? Your hands can carry up to ten times more bugs after you wash them. You can remedy this by washing your hands with the soap, then use an alcohol-based hand gel to kill the germs.
Hotel light switches
The first thing most of us do when entering a hotel room is to flip on the light. Unfortunately, these light switches contain six times more illness-causing bacteria than even the nastiest telephone keypad. To reduce your risks, wipe the light switches with a slightly damp washcloth and a dab of hotel soap.
Approximately 95% of salt and pepper shakers are shrouded in cold-causing rhinoviruses. This is caused by uncovered sneezes. One sneeze can propel 100,000 germs across a room at 200 miles per hour. To destroy about 83% of these germs within two minutes, rub a bit of alcohol-based hand gel, such as Purell, on them.