Ten Places You’d Better Observe a “Hands-Off” Policy
Be Vigilant to Stave Off Illness in Winter
Millions of germs writhe around and inside us at all times, and while 99 percent are harmless or beneficial to humans, pathogenic ones can in the worst case be fatal. A germ splits every 10 minutes: that makes four in 20 minutes, 64 in an hour and 16 million in four hours. Normally they coexist with people in peace, but then for one reason or another they suddenly attack. Here is a beginnerís guide for guarding against rogues.
Your average clean-looking hand carries about 60,000 bacteria. Among them are staphylococcus and streptococcus, which do no harm in a healthy individual but engender inflammation when a hand gets hurt. Apart from them, dysentery, colitis, salmonella and shigella also make themselves at home on your fingers and spread from person to person by way of the things we handle in our daily lives.
Be particularly careful with public bathrooms, subway train straps, supermarket cart handles, elevator buttons, library books and banknotes, all of which are constantly touched by many people. So common are manually transmitted infections that 70 percent of infectious diseases can be prevented by thorough washing of hands. Doctors recommend washing hands eight times a day. Hand bacteria are reduced to 40 percent when washed with water and to 20 percent with soap.
About 100 million germs live in our saliva. They, too, cause no trouble under ordinary conditions but attack the body when we get hurt or our immunity weakens. Germs in saliva spread to others through coughing, conversation, kissing and sharing drinking cups or food bowls. Germs in spittle sent flying when you cough or speak enter other peopleís respiratory organs directly or are passed on via public telephones and computer keyboards. Influenza, tonsillitis, tuberculosis and diphtheria are among them.
A lot of opportunistic infection and allergy-inducing germs are bellowed out by air conditioners. Bacteria or fungi thus unleashed cause bronchial or lung diseases if our immunity is weak. A vacuum cleaner sucks in germs from the front but emits them from the back in a fine dust that can cause asthma and other diseases. The dust filters inside are hotbeds of germs.
If you use a dust-collection vacuum cleaner, clean the bag after each use. Food scraps fallen in between the keys on your computer become an ideal habitat. Clean keyboards by turning them around and shaking them as well as wiping the surface. Frequently wipe down home appliances often touched by hands like computer mouse, telephone and remote control with cleaning tissue or ethanol.