Germs are tiny microscopic organisms that can cause diseases. Invisible to the naked eye, germs can be found on plants, animals, people, and objects around us. Germs are everywhere! Germs come in four different forms: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Once germs find an environment they enjoy like a trashcan, a car steering wheel, and even a cell phone, germs make themselves at home. Only a powerful cleaning solution or medicine will eliminate germs.
How are germs spread?
It’s safe to assume germs are everywhere! Germs spread through indirect contact like a doorknob or escalator railing and direct contact such as a hug or high-five. Germs can also spread via the air when someone sneezes or coughs. Amazingly, coughing and sneezing can spread tiny water droplets up to 6 feet!
Are all germs bad?
Some germs are useful, bacteria in the soil helps plants grow. There are good bacteria that live in both the human and animal gut. These bacteria help the body utilize the nutrients ingested through eating. Even some medicines and vaccines are made from bacteria. Penicillium is made from mold and is the #1 antibiotic used to treat infections.
9 germ facts that will make anyone want to live in a bubble!
- There are strains of bacteria that can live without oxygen.
- Bad breath is caused by bacteria in the nose and mouth.
- All bacteria is acquired after birth- everyone is born bacteria free!
- The number of germs on our hands double after using the restroom.
- The average cell phone has more germs than a toilet handle.
- Workplace coffee mugs were tested and 1 out of every 5 tested positive for fecal matter!
- Money is covered in over 100 different types of bacteria.
- A knife block in the kitchen is a breeding ground for germs!
- Next to the faucet and sponges, dish towels are the dirtiest thing in the kitchen!
Hide and seek with germs?
While it is impossible to live germ-free, it is possible to minimize the negative effect of germs. Here is a list of simple ways one can protect against and prevent infections:
- The number one way to protect against germs is frequent hand washing.
- Most germs are spread through handshakes and touch.
- Keeping up to date on vaccinations will help prevent the spread of diseases.
- Throw away used tissues, never store in a pocket.
- Using paper towels to open bathroom doors.
- Shake all bedsheets and towels outside! Shaking the sheets inside the house just spreads the germs around.
- Keep hand sanitizer in the car and on the desk at work.
- Avoid touching handrails in public places such as the metro or escalators.
- Use a pen to push the buttons on any atm or gas pump.
- Do not share cups or utensils.
Germs are everywhere. Millions of microscopic bacteria are thriving on the top of practically every surface, from cell phones to the keyboards at work. Hand washing, limiting the cups and utensils that are shared, and keeping up to date on vaccinations are simple steps everyone can take to stay germ-free as possible.