Understanding Germs, bacteria & the places they can be found in!.
Living day to day, most people don't really realize the very places they live, work and play could be a germ infested haven just waiting for you to come along & hop on for the ride, till they can get off onto someone else. Oh yes it may be true that there are some healthy bacteria & our bodies being immune to a few others. We are not however completely protected from germs that could become quite potent causing illnesses, rashes, poisoning etc just to name a few. Most people think that the toilet is the dirtiest, In fact it is cleaner than lets say, the ATM machine, Oh yes imagine an ATM machine keypad and compare it to the toilet in your own home. I'm sure you use a lot of detergents at home. Even quite a few public toilets in respected places are cleaner. Below I'd like to share with you Some of the most germiest places you would rarely realize to be dirty, where you are more prone to an infection or a disease.
Shopping Carts & Trolleys!.
With thousands of people that shop on a daily basis, Your shopping cart or trolley handle could very well indeed be contaminated, You could easily contract Salmonella Enterocolitis & or E.coli enteritis. If you have toddlers or little kids with you, they too have habits of using their mouths or tongues to lick away or just gnaw at the handle bar which is of course is unhealthy for them in terms of bacteria.
Tips & advice. Carry Kleenex, Tissues or a disinfectant wipe with you. Wipe that handle bar before going around. Keep your little ones away from the bar unless you've wiped it. Refrain from using your hands to eat those free samples unless your hands are also clean. Think Salmonella & E.Coli!.
Airplanes & Public buses.
Be more worried about the air you breathe in the airplanes. Since there are some viral airborne diseases such as, Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS),Meningitis, Pulmonary tuberculosis that can spread rather quickly through a medium like air. Imagine sitting in a close radius of 100-200 people on a plane all breathing in the same air. I've even seen some airline toilets very unclean just half hour into the flight, being overused. Many people if not sick on board, tend to get sick during flight travel. As for the bus. Its public transport, again sitting around other people that get on & off, you never know which one you might come in contact with someone before your stop & contract something from them. And again like the shopping trolley the handle bars are perfect germ infestations. Don't forget the trains & metro or rail-runners!. They too are much similar in comparison.
Tips & advice. When on an airplane, wear a mask if you really are serious about your health. If you really are sick don't get on the plane with other people. And or if you find yourself beside a sick person, Ask the flight attendant to provide you with a mask or breathing apparatus, I know it might seem doing too much work or considering a simple flu is the worst that could happen, WRONG!. Even simple flu's turn into deadly viruses. As always prevention is better than cure right!. As for the bus story, Carry disinfectant tissue or at least a hand sanitizer. You don't have to worry about the air so much in a public bus, as so its still oxygen with the windows closed & not filtered oxygen.
Aircraft Seats & Toilets.
Even with a crew to clean up the airplanes, you can never be too careful, planes are the world buses and not just your own country. Picking up bacteria from all over the planet, some germs are more resistant than others & can find all sorts of nooks & crannies to hide in. Where its just the job of a cleaner to clean instead of having knowledge of a health expert to avoid cleaning up better. They often miss out on seat crevices, further inside the cushion where you sit down, yes that place where the base of your spine meets your rump. Arm rests & window sills, the carpet under your feet are all nice places for germs to stubbornly stay put & rub off on you. Toilets are even unhealthier with almost everyone using them and especially on long flights. It is a fact that the bacteria E.coli spreads wonderfully in that tiny cubicle no matter what you touch. Did i mention that E.coli is a very common cause of travelers' diarrhea!.
Tips & advice. Dust your seat, sanitize your hands, take out a wet wipe or disinfectant tissue & wipe armrests & the food tray tables. When you go to the toilet. Make sure you use a tissue for the handles, flushing & even taps since bacteria is good at splashing, if not traveling through air. If you happen to take a blanket or pillow to nap in, very few people do, but still, make sure you wash them properly the first thing when you get home or wherever you are headed.
Kitchen scrubbers & rags
How often do you replace a scrubber or a dishrag?, How well do you know what accumulates in your scrub overnight when you're asleep?. Well your kitchen might be clean, but your scrubber & cloth / rags just wiped all that dirt & bacteria away. Then that same scrubber is used to scrub plates & other dishes with it. "But i use disinfectant detergent with my scrubber to clean, so it must keep the scrubber clean as well". NO! it does not, this doesn't bring balance to the force like it does in star wars. Some very common bacteria you can attain is the Staph infection salmonella.
Replace your scrubbers every 4-6months, they are pretty cheap to come by, so it shouldn't be a hassle. According to a study & research development, microbiologists have found that putting your kitchen scrubber into a microwave for a minute kills 99% of germs effectively, yes effectively!!. The same works with your dishwasher on a dry timer. Remember your kitchen should be clean or you might as well just poop where you eat.
Remotes & game controllers
Bathrooms & toilets at home
Most people, good housewives & clean freak males(if they do exist), surely know that the toilet you sit on is the cleanest spot in the house. Although very few realize that its the other commodities such as the tub, the shower curtains, sink(s), areas around your washing machine & even your toothbrush holder and soap trays are quite in fact unhygienic & often accumulates germs / bacteria & i mean lots of accumulation. Even your hose pipe or a second commode doesn't get thoroughly cleansed.
Tips & advice. Take one day in the week or at least once a week to go on a furious scrubbing spree with disinfectants or a bleach liquid solution. Change your toothbrush holders & replace toothbrushes monthly and especially after you have fallen sick. More than often replace your shower curtains. A fresh clean bathroom is important to living healthy!.
Remotes (TV, Radio, Game controllers)
The one electronic device used in the house by everyone that doesn't get more than a glance. It is commonly used by a family member when they get sick. Sitting back with grubby fingers or oily food hands while eating your meal & yet it all collects into that remote or all the remotes at some point. Even game controllers are so frequently used for hours on end and don't get a good wiping. So many germs waiting to go around.
Tips & advice. Need i mention the miracle of disinfectant wipes. A good rinse on all your remotes and game controllers before or after use would be suitable & we can all get back to the magic box. Forget about video killing the radio star. Germs would see the end of family, TV & radio!.
Elevator & Lifts
Elevators & lifts.
If you really dint notice this, then hopefully you'll have learned it here. Yes lift buttons are just loaded with germs and bacteria from people using them so much on a daily basis. almost nobody stops to think, with their ever so busy lives & schedules. Then there are others that live in a place where you can't see it, "its not there or i don't think about it sort of attitude". Germs are definitely there, whether you see it or not. Can you see the wind?. You know its there because you can feel it right!.
Tips and advice. If you have tissues use them, If you have any sort of material, shopping bags, umbrella, handkerchief etc, use it to press the button. Otherwise ask somebody else politely to press the number to your destination, but if you want to protect your fellow man from the germ dilemma as well, then simply use a knuckle or elbow, go home and wash like a nut. A clean nut is better than an ill nut.
Workplace sharing & habits.
Working in an office usually comes along with sharing office equipment, You'll be surprised at the objects you can touch that are germ ridden. Your keyboard, the office fax machine, landlines(phones), staplers, door knobs, Coffee pot and desks, including tables at the building /office cafeteria. with so many staff members, it is only natural to interact so much with office equipment that somebody somewhere in your office might pass on germs or inherit them from you or others eventually getting around to you again. Bacteria is known to stick around for 2-3hours before instantly infecting you before you realize any symptoms, with this knowledge in mind how many objects in the office do you touch in under a minute?.
Tips & advice. You don't have to scrub furiously or go nuts about it. A simple disinfectant tissue wipe is more than enough to clean before you use any office equipment, including the coffee pot. Keep your workstation, your desk clean as possible, your boss might even give you a promotion or think you a nut if you overdo it. Nevertheless there are some things better to prevent than take home with you and spread amongst the household. Carry a hand sanitizer, But refrain from using it frequently, just enough is good. If you're wondering why i just wrote that, then refer to my other hub on Common Healthy habits that aren't really healthy.
Money & Wallets
Money gets traded so fast & it goes around the world, from one persons hands into another. Those paper notes also happen to be in someone else's wallet, if not an unhygienic cash register. Lets get back to wallets in somebody's else's pants or purse. Bacteria is known to multiply in humid or damp conditions, they thrive in on it, much like moss or swampy areas. People sit on their wallets all day long at work, increasing humidity. What makes you think it doesn't rub off onto those paper notes which are capable of absorbing bacteria, The exchanging of those paper notes only further spreads and transfers germs & bacteria. Apart from that have you ever known a cash register to be cleaned on a regular basis?. With all the money going in an out from lots of people. It is a proven fact that strains of flu micro-organism's indeed live for about a week to a fortnight on money papered notes.
Tips & advice. Wash your hands regularly. No don't go to clean your paper notes, bad things happen. Use a hand sanitizer when pulling out money or receiving it in hand. Its pretty much simple.
Cell / Mobile phones.
With the rise of technology, these mini transceivers are many people's life line's in today's world. From taking it around your office, outdoors to the park with the family, to even texting in the bathroom. it's a wonder when all the germs from your phone get transferred to your hands, mouth, face, ear, causing rashes, lumps & other related ailments. I dare you to open up your phone, to where the battery is, or just under the keypad & see how much dirt there really is under it all!.
Tips & advice. Cleanse it with wet disinfectant wipes on a daily basis. Try doing it when you're about to go to sleep & you put your phone on charger. It will save you a lot of hassle, keeping your mobile phone germ free.
Carry Cases, Luggage & Handbags.
Ever realize where You put hand baggage, or leave it by itself to enjoy the world of germs, may it be on the floor of a bus, on a dirty counter at the store or even in a public restroom sink. Bacteria is just lying around to hop onto your handbag & follow you to their new home. This simple habit is in fact a leading cause of E.coli & salmonella.
Tips & advice. Try as much as possible to not leave your handbag or luggage in public places all over the floor, If you are sitting let it lie on your lap. string it over your shoulder. When you go home, Hang it off the floor, washing with warm water & soap is encouraged to negate the effect of germ infections. Wipe if its one of those expensive bags you're fond of regularly, avoid solutions for certain types of handbag material.
Handlebars on treadmills & exercise bikes are loaded with germs especially in the public gym. can you imagine the amount of people that sweat it out to stay in shape or burn those calories. Although exercise is a good way to increase your immune system, the local gym wont make things easier concerning your health. There are many cases concerning various skin diseases, & majority of these cases prove the same thing, It was attained slowly overtime, working out at a public gym. Even simple dumbbells contain as much bacteria to keep you afflicted with infections to last you months on end.
Tips & advice. Wipe handlebars & any equipment that requires you to have a grip to do a steady workout session. Wrap your hands with fitness material, or bandages. Wear gloves if you have to. The importance is mostly about covering up any open wounds you might have that can and will be susceptible to infection. Gym workout mats are also a nest for bacteria to reside in. Wash regularly with soap & warm water.
Gym public showers
Free makeup products
Gym Public Showers.
The most supreme case of Tinea pedis (Athlete's foot, Ringworm - foot), is the main cause of people using these public gym showers & locker rooms. Germs & bacteria tend to get in between the toes, on the soles of your feet and under the toe nails causing further skin infection, peeling, itching, boils, crusting & oozing are also associated with this disease.
Tips & advice. Even though athlete's foot can be cured, it can also return just as quickly. Make sure to wash your feet at least twice a day with soap. Wear clean cotton socks or flip flops when you go to the public gym. clean & make sure your keep areas between your toes dry, dampness may also lead to fungus & bacteria to form. Have you ever gone to a public skating rink or bowling alley, you not only have to rent ice skates or bowling shoes, but buy a fresh pair of socks as well. It is indeed a hygiene factor. Somebody else's germs could very well indeed be your infection.
A recent study shows that Atm buttons indeed consists of much more bacteria than the door handle of a public toilet. Frequently used these lovely cash dispensing machines. It is also one of the largest health risk factors around. Then out comes the cash which gets traded with other people transferring more and more germs all over the globe (mentioned above) creating a vicious cycle of germ flow. Oh yes indeed, it is proven, even though it might not seem fatal.
Tips & advice. Just like you would do with the elevator buttons (mentioned above). Use a tissue, Its ok if you don't magically have all these materials on you to use. Step out and use an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer or any good medicated alcoholic gel. Wash your hands thoroughly. Atm machines are truly germ infestations of the highest order.
Free Lipstick & make-up testers.
Women spend an awfully long time at make-up counters & indeed they should be, since, getting flustered and trying to look even more prettier is part of the female species i guess. What many don't realize though that, did the previous person have a cold or flu?. You are very prone to contracting E.coli and or Staph infection (staphylococcus). That would be the least of your problems. You could even achieve herpes if you're obsessive enough. Pink eye is also acquired due to infected pencil eye liners. Including chronic irritation. Try to look pretty enough, end result, looking like a fruitcake. (i joke).
Tips & advice. The simplest advice would be to not use any free testers, and yet this simple piece of advice would be very hard for women to follow. If you have to, If you must, absolutely or have this writhing urge to try on a new shade, color or mascara, There are few ways to go about it. Most Make-up corners also come with a helpful member. Don't hesitate to ask for a new and unused free sample. They usually have a couple extras that are untouched. If none are available, then i must implore all you beautiful women to simply try out your product on the back of your hand to your liking. Wash or wipe immediately after if you should give into temptation and managed to try it on your face.
Try putting some on your husband, boyfriend, brother, spouse. They are magically immune to female products. (again i joke!).
Living Healthy with simple methods!.
In conclusion, the human body is quite resistant to most germs. Our bodies and immunity system is capable of unbelievably super feats. Although there are some types of bacteria that know how to get in under our skin and infest, to a point where the body can't fight back. This is solely concerning healthy bodies of people with healthy lifestyles. Prevention is better than cure right?. You don't have to go living your life like an OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) germaphobe. Though its not bad if you are one. Just little things you do in your daily routine can affect your personal life and others around you greatly. Live life to its fullest, live healthy & energetic. All these simple ailments and illnesses can be combated by living right. Always keep in mind to Wash your hands regularly, yes including the areas behind your thumb in between & so forth. Unclean hands are the gateway to majority of sicknesses and bacteria infesting your system.
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Boo McCourt from Washington MI on March 29, 2014:
Thanks for this hub. I guess I have the thought nothing can be to clean. I get so riled up going to public places like grocery stores and such. The germs that end up on those carts and in the bathrooms are really frightening to me. It is hard to avoid touching most things but taking precautions is my best defense. Sanitizers, gloves and being aware exactly what I touch. excellent hub! Shared on twitter!
Anon on October 20, 2012:
My MIL is a retired nurse who told me NOT to clean up after a raw turkey I prepped on the countertop last Thanksgiving, saying that she had never had any such issues with food poisoning. She was more concerned about the use of a common cleaning product on the counter than anyone actually getting sick (right next to the bread board, no less). I guess some people figure that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Clayton (author) from Dubai, United Arab Emirates on July 09, 2012:
Aye quite true M.Merit. Germs are just hiding in plain sight. Hand sanitizers are good to carry around, when washing facilities aren't anywhere nearby. Although, too much of using hand sanitizers too can be problematic, its known to kill the good bacteria protecting your skin etc. Almost everyone confuses this for a good thing and end up using too much of it. Whenever possible using soap and water is a much better option. But like you mentioned, when its not readily available, go ahead! hand sanitizers ftw!
C L Grant from United Kingdom on July 09, 2012:
I do sometimes wonder if we have become overly obsessed with cleanliness these days. However, when you witness someone sneeze into their hands, instead of a tissue, then push open a door in front of you, it does give you second thoughts!!
My youngest daughter takes a small hand sanitizer with her to school and uses it regularly. I'm not sure whether it is purely coincidence, but she has picked up far fewer coughs, colds and tummy bugs over the past year, since she started this regime.
However, we should all ensure that we wash our hands with soap and hot water before eating. How many of us can honestly say that we have always washed our hands before eating a sandwich at our desk in work? Keyboards and telephones are some of the worst culprits for hiding germs.
These types of products are particularly useful in places where hand washing facilities are not readily available.