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Monday, August 11, 2008

8 More Ways to Avoid Germs

1. Don't Touch the First Floor Elevator Button!

In an elevator, the first-floor button harbors the most germs because more people touch it than any other button. If you can, let someone else push it so you don't have to touch it.

If you're alone, use your elbow instead of your finger to press the button. [Use your elbow even if others are there. Who cares if they think you're a little strange!]

(Geca: I always get that "strange look". - I use tissue to touch buttons. or better yet, just climb up the steps! )

2. Dangerous Shopping Cart Handles

Shopping cart handles are prime culprits in the spread of germs. Some supermarkets now offer germ-killing towelette dispensers in the cart area. Bring your own if they don't. Use them to sanitize the cart handle — and never put fresh produce in the cart seat, where diaper-aged children often sit.

3. Watch Those Escalator Handrails

Escalator handrails are loaded with germs. Don't touch them if you can manage without it.

4. Use the First Toilet

Research shows that most people use the middle stall in public bathrooms, so avoid those. More use means they're the dirtiest and have the most germs.

(Geca: well, it doesn't really matter... as long as you are 'equipped' with anti-bacterial wipes or gel then you're good to go)

5. Office Coffee Pots Dripping With Disease

Your office coffee pot and mug may have been cleaned with a sponge dripping with germs. Hang on to your own mug, and use a dishwasher when it's time to clean it. Another trick: Keep apple cider vinegar in the office and pour a water-cider solution through the coffee machine weekly. It will help kill bacteria.

(Geca: Bring your own coffee flask! and wash it yourself to make sure it is "cleaned".)

6. Kitchen Woes

Be aware that kitchen sponges, dishcloths, the kitchen and bathroom sinks, cutting boards, and even the bathroom floor carry more germs than the toilet seat.

New research suggests that if you want to sterilize your sponge, put it in the microwave for two minutes.

A team of engineering researchers at the University of Florida found that two minutes of microwaving on full power killed or inactivated more than 99 percent of bacteria, viruses, or parasites, as well as spores, on a kitchen sponge.

(Geca: After each use, rinse the sponge with hot soapy water, wring it out and stand on its side to dry - NOT laying down!)

7. Your Desk Is Dirtier Than the Toilet

Get this: the typical office desk area has 400 times the amount of bacteria than the average toilet seat. Worst offenders: first, the office phone. Then the desk. Finally, the keyboard. Use a disinfectant wipe to clean the desktop, computer keyboard, and phone.

8. Avoid Hand Shaking or Kissing "during the Flu season"

This may be an impossibility for some. But try to avoid shaking hands or kissing during the flu season.

While there are many steps in preventing disease, perhaps the most important is to wash your hands frequently.

Scrub your hands with warm water and soap for at least 15 to 20 seconds after using the bathroom; eating, working, or playing outdoors; playing with pets; or coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Anything less than 15 seconds won't do the job.

Incredibly, 95 percent of people say they wash their hands after using the bathroom, but only 67 percent really do it. Worse, only 33 percent bother to use soap, and only 16 percent wash their hands long enough to remove germs.

One last caveat: Everyone is doing the "antibacterial craze" — getting soaps and wipes that kill germs. Dr. Russell Blaylock suggests occasional use of these products is fine, but frequent use may be bad.

Why?

The antibacterials also kill the good bacteria on your skin that your body needs to defend against the bad bacteria.

(Geca: oopppsss! OK I won't wash hands way too much! This germophobe fever is over-the-top! )

Germs — bacteria and viruses — not only threaten us, they can kill. There's no harm in being extra cautious! ^.~

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