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From the Nurses’ Office: The Germiest Places in Your World

8 November 2012 admin 2,839 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Could your iPad be making you sick?

By Patty Canright, R.N., and Carol Keith, R.N., School Nurses

Germs are lurking where you least expect them. During an average day you are likely to encounter many of the lurking viruses that make us ill. Eighty percent of infections are spread through hand contact. Good hand washing is the key to waging germ warfare on these viruses.

Some of the worst culprits are:

1. Your kitchen sink: Most kitchens are dirtier than bathrooms. The sponge and the drain are crawling with bacteria.

2. Airplane bathrooms: Because of the cramped and over used space in airplane bathrooms it is difficult to wash thoroughly in tiny spaces.

3. ATM buttons: Careful, you may pick up more than just cash from the ATM.

4. Mats and machines at health clubs: Antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus has been found on all mats and machines.

5. Hotel room remote control: When tested for the cold virus, it was found on remotes, door handles, light switches and faucet handles. Despite the 5 Star rating, these germs have no boundaries!

6. Your handbag or suitcase: All kinds of bacteria from staph to salmonella have been found on the bottom of purses and bags. We set them on floors then tables and beds, transferring millions of bacteria.

7. Your bathtub: We wash germs and viruses off our bodies daily in the tub or shower. Because these are moist environments, bacteria grow readily.

8. Computers, iPads, iPods, MP3 players: Take a look at the keyboard on your computer. With constant use day in and day out, these are hotbeds for germs to pass from user to user.

Reduce the risk by cleaning areas with antibacterial soap or wipes frequently, and washing hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds (long enough to sing “Happy Birthday”).



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