Cancer Patients Beware: Germs Are Everywhere
Germs are all around us; in the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, the food we eat and almost everything that we touch. People assume washing their hands a few times a day is enough. Unfortunately, germs thrive even in seemingly clean and hygienic environments and survive [the germs] for hours.
So, why are we not dreadfully sick already?
Mother Nature was obviously very good with her anticipations; the human body is a finely tuned mechanism with its very own and a rather reliable defense system. Every part of the body is protected. Among the first line of soldiers of our body are the skin, the mouth and the nasal cavity with its fine hair and mucus.
The skin helps to prevent pathogens from entering the human body; allergic reactions are a tell tale sign of the body’s defense mechanism kicking into action. Our mouth is home to several million bacteria; however, not all of them are bad. Like the other orifices in the body, some of the microorganisms that inhabit our mouths actually help to fight off harmful germs, while the tiny hair and mucus in the nasal cavity do a good job of trapping dust and other airborne pathogens.
However, these defense mechanisms can be greatly compromised if you are not diligent with proper hygiene practices, or if you are immunocompromised.
Once the germs enter the system; the white blood corpuscles and other antibodies attack them, so while a normally healthy person does not have a lot to worry about under normal circumstances, an individual with a weakened immune system has to be extremely careful.
Where can you find these germs?
Most people’s hygiene practices are directly related to their perception of germs and where they exist. The truth is, that most people don’t truly understand good hygiene practices. While an astounding 80% people reported that they always wash their hands after using the toilet, less than 20% did so after a handshake.
Here is a fun quiz that will help showcase some key germ hideouts.
Choose the dirtiest place in the house?
- The toilet seat
- The handle on the toilet door
- The kitchen sink
- The garbage can
- The toilet bowl
Which is the germiest item in the house?
- The dishrag
- The pillowcase
- The dog leash
- The refrigerator
- The keyboard
What is the dirtiest area in the office?
- The keyboard
- The printer
- The phone
- The elevator button
- The toilet seat
Which is the dirtiest item out in the open?
- Playground equipment
- Shopping cart handles
- Picnic table
- Escalator handles
Answers to the Quiz
So, if you are all ready to check out the answers to those questions, here is a round of perception versus facts.
- Beware of the kitchen sink: While most people assume that it’s the toilet bowl which takes the crown in being the dirtiest place in the house, it’s actually the kitchen sink which is the perfect hideout for most germs.
- Watch out for dishrags: People never think twice about wiping their dishes with a dishrag that is seldom washed more than once a week; little do they realize that the dishrag harbors more germs than the garbage can. Coming in a close second and third are bathroom and kitchen towels. The fact that these items are usually damp and are kept in warm surroundings means that bacteria love to spawn in them.
- Germs love phones: Although most people assume that the toilet seat in their office is the dirtiest; actually, it’s the phone receiver which has the lead here. With several billion germs per square inch of plastic, that phone can make you very sick.
- Playgrounds are germ havens: It’s not the shopping cart handles that you should be worried about as playground equipment is more contaminated than any other item on that list; is it any wonder then that young kids fall sick so often?
People Are Dirty
So, if the thought of washing or disinfecting your hands just occurs to you after touching the items on your list, think again! More germy facts to scare you!
- The human body has an astounding 1000 different species of germs living in and on it. As a matter of fact, the number of germs on our skin is more than the population of the United Kingdom.
- More than 90% of these germs live under your nails. It’s no wonder that 80% of all infectious diseases are spread through touch.
- The surprising thing is that you transfer more germs when shaking hands than when kissing.
- Then, there is the one about wet hands which spread more germs and faster too than if you were to take the time out to dry your hands.
- A sneeze travels at 80 miles an hour, isn’t that faster than the average car on the road outside your house? And, that is the speed at which you send out germs towards all the people in the room that you choose to sneeze in.
- By the way, did you know that it is illegal to sneeze in a church in Omaha, Nebraska?
Between 7 and 42 percent of all paper money contained “revolting bacteria.
One study found fecal matter on the screen of an automated bank machine (think of all the dirty fingers that touch those screens before you do).
Although it is a well-known fact that washing your hands can prevent several common ailments, you would be surprised at how many people are too lazy to do so.
- Almost half of all men and a quarter of all women fail to wash their hands even after using the bathroom
- While right-handed people naturally scrub their left hand more thoroughly than the right one.
- The fingertips are home to 2 to 10 million bacteria
- Damp hands will spread germs a mammoth 1000 times faster
- Germs stay alive on your hands for up to 3 hours
- Millions of microorganisms hide under your bracelet, watches and rings.
- While most people wash their hands after using a public restroom, only 73% do so before eating out.
- Only 51% wash their hands even after sneezing and a lowly 17% do so after shaking hands
Unfortunately, only 34% people believe that they need to wash their hands more often. So, if you have not been taking personal hygiene seriously, don’t you think its time to do so already? After all, new bugs are entering the market each day from swine flu to bird flu and more; the good news is that almost all of these can be kept at bay by ensuring that you meticulously follow all hygiene related practices.