Things You Should Never Touch — According to Doctors
Eighteen hours. For so long can cold and flu viruses survive on hard surfaces, scientists say. Soft and porous materials can take longer germs. When you think of the sheer number of items we touch every day – right after dozens or hundreds of other people did the same thing – it's surprising that we do not have a cold or a flu all the time. That's the wonder of the human immune system.
But now and then a clever virus slips through us and makes us sick. It's probably because we're touching one of those herds that have been identified by doctors. You may not be able to avoid touching some of these items and surfaces, but if you are aware of this, you can keep your hands clean and keep yourself healthy. That's what the experts at The Remedy told us.
"We tend to call Purell germ-free, but did you know that the hand sanitizer pumps are among the most germ-rich surfaces?" says J.D. Zipkin, MD, MA, FAAP, FACP from Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care. "The good news is that the content tends to kill most of the germs that you have just taken, but always be careful when holding an empty container your hands are probably covered with germs. "
The remedy Rx: For this reason, according to Zipkin, his practice has switched to hands-free, motion-activated pumps. If you share the hand sanitizer with other people, eg. For example, in the office or in a busy home, it may be a good idea to do the same.
"Everyone puts their germs on the small, concentrated surface of an elevator button," says Zipkin. Actually, a study at the University of Arizona found that lift buttons contained 40 times the bacteria of a public toilet seat.
The remedy Rx: "Curl your finger and press the lift buttons with the back of an ankle to reduce the spread of germs from your fingertips to your face," advises Zipkin.
OK, you can not avoid touching them. Your hands may be on a keyboard throughout the day after touching, eating and using the toilet in the office and home. But when did you clean it up the last time? "A common keyboard and mouse at work are full of germs, and it's difficult to effectively clean any surface," says Zipkin.
The remedy Rx: Keep antibacterial cloths nearby and wipe your keyboard regularly.
"Believe it or not, your cell phone is one of the dirtiest things you touch – and you often touch it," Dr. Christopher Dietz, DO, area physician of MedExpress emergency care, "A dirty cell phone can be detrimental to your health and spread pathogens, especially in the cold season and flu season, and although we take our phones everywhere from the bathroom to the dining table, we rarely think about cleaning them, every time." We put our phones on a surface, whether it's the meat counter in the grocery store or the stand in your favorite restaurant. You can pick up bacteria that will transfer to your hands and possibly your mouth or nose – and into your body. "
The remedy Rx: "I know some of my patients find it difficult to even drop their cell phone for a moment, but as a healthcare professional, I recommend leaving your cell phone behind when you go to the bathroom," says Dietz. "When you cook your dinner or pack your lunch, put your phone aside so you're not tempted to pick it up in the middle of your prescription – or at least remember to wash your hands or send a phone call right after the text is sent to do. "
And clean your phone regularly. "I recommend disinfecting your phone every day – and possibly more than once a day in the cold and flu season, when germs and bacteria spread faster," says Dietz. "I always recommend that my patients keep antibacterial wipes in their car, purse or desk drawer so they can be wiped off easily and frequently."
"Apart from your cell phone, I always remind my patients that germs can lurk in unsuspecting places when we're on the move," says Dietz. "Think of things you constantly touch – the pump at the gas station, the pin on the bench, shopping trolley handles – and then think about how many other people are touching the same things day after day, unfortunately these surfaces do not nearly become Fortunately, we can take things into our own hands with a few healthy habits. "
The remedy Rx: "Always keep a pack of antibacterial wipes in your handbag, bag, or car when you're out and about, and wipe the handle of the shopping cart or gas station pump before use," says Dietz. "I also have an extra pen ready so I do not have to use the community pen in the bank … Always wash your hands when you come home from errands and you'll be amazed how quickly these little habits become part of them . " your daily routine. "
"Key office space germs include door knobs, elevator buttons, shared computer mice, sink handles, and more," says Kelsey Burger, PA-C of Hartford Health-GoHealth Urgent Care.
The remedy Rx: "If you can not always wipe these surfaces, make sure you have access to soap and water / hand sanitizer," says Burger. "Another good tip is to always carry a small, portable hand sanitizer during the flu season."
"The menus in a restaurant are among the dirtiest in any restaurant!" says Christina L. Belitsky, MS, RPA-C, Northwell Advanced. In fact, they can contain 100 times the bacteria of a toilet seat: University of Arizona researchers found an average of 185,000 bacteria on menus in a random sample of restaurants in three states.
The remedy Rx: "Bring a hand sanitizer to fight these annoying germs," says Belitsky. Never touch a menu with your plate or cutlery and wash your hands after ordering or use hand sanitizer.
According to Belitsky, frequently touched turnstiles can be a magnet for germs. In 2015, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College wiped surfaces in and around the New York subway. They found that 27 percent of these surfaces contained antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The remedy Rx: Push through a turnstile without using your hands, or carry a hand sanitizer with you and push something out when you're on the other side.
The electronic pens near keyboards at banks and cash registers can also be a breeding ground for germs, says Belitsky. When tens or hundreds of people use this pen since it was last cleaned, it's like shaking hands with everyone.
The remedy Rx: Carry a pen with you and use the non-writing end to press keys and create an electronic signature.
"In contrast to public perception, the most germinated place in your house is in the kitchen, not in your bathroom," he says Adam SplaverMD, a cardiologist in South Florida. "You'll love the irony, it's your sponge – the one you use to clean your kitchen." Actually, a study According to the Public Health and Safety Organization, more than 75% of kitchenware sponges contained coliform bacteria (which might indicate stool contamination) compared to only 9% of bathroom handles.
The remedy Rx: Disinfect your sponges once a week by saturating them with water and placing them in the microwave for 1 minute (for peeling sponges) for 2 minutes (cellulose sponges).
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"The toilet seat is not the wettest place in the bathroom, it's the sink," says Splaver, who notes that its moisture is an ideal breeding ground for germs. According to the PHSO studythe bathroom faucet is the sixth largest in the average house; The toilet does not even make it into the top 10.
The remedy Rx: "It's important to wash your hands after the bath," says Splaver. Make sure you use soap and wash for 20 seconds – about until you sing "Happy Birthday" twice.
"In public toilets, it's important to avoid the bacteria-laden air dryers," says Splaver. According to a study From the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University, petri dishes exposed to hot air from a hand dryer in the bathroom for 30 seconds became 254 bacterial colonies. Air dryers seem to absorb bacteria from the washroom air.
The remedy Rx: "Choose paper towels to dry your hands," says Splaver.
If you leave it near the toilet, that is. Splaver says you should avoid storing your toothbrush near the dresser to prevent the transmission of germs into the air.
The remedy Rx: Store your toothbrush on the vanity top in a corner away from the toilet. And replace it regularly: The American Dental Association advises every three to four months or earlier, when the bristles are worn out.
"Use antibacterial soaps, but sparing because they can promote bacterial resistance," says Splaver.
The remedy Rx: The FDA says regular soap and water are good for getting rid of germs on your hands and preventing illnesses.
"There are many skin infections caused by bacteria that are more aggressive and resistant to antibiotics like MRSA," he says Seuli Brill. MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at Wexner Medical Center, Ohio State University. "Some other possible infections are impetigo, cellulitis, folliculitis and abscesses, which can be transmitted via towels, washcloths, razors and soap bars."
The remedy Rx: "Do not let anything that touches your skin touch another person's skin unless it has been washed or cleaned," Brill advises. "Change or wash towels and washcloths every few days, let soap bars dry between applications, and do not share razors. Use paper towels instead of towels in the guest baths."
"If you do not know the person, you probably do not want to share a drink with them," says Brill. "Viruses can spread via drinks, especially mononucleosis and respiratory viruses like the common cold."
The remedy Rx: If someone offers you a drink from the cup or the straw, it's okay to give it up – that might also help you to miss a cold or flu.
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Here's the opposite of Namaste: Exercise mats in your gym or yoga studio can be a breeding ground for bacteria. They are made of porous plastic and can be attacked by germs from hours to days.
The remedy Rx: "It's a good idea to bring your own yoga / exercise mat for training," says Brill. "If this is not possible, wipe the surface before and after exercise to reduce the risk of transmitting harmful bacteria."
Public transport has long been a germ cell. In fact, one study found that people who commute to work are six-and-a-half times more likely to have acute respiratory infections (including severe colds). Yeral PatelMD, a functional medicine doctor based in Newport Beach, California, reminds us that carpooling is also public transport: The door handle of your Lyft or Uber carpool can pick up germs.
The remedy Rx: Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer and apply generously as soon as you reach your destination.
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One study found that more than half of the shopping cart In an average grocery store were pathogenic bacteria, including E. coli, says Mitra Shir, MSc, RHN, a Vancouver-registered holistic nutritionist.
The remedy Rx: If your grocery store does not have antibacterial wipes near the carts, bring your own. Wipe the handle and allow it to taste for 20 seconds before touching it.
From course, you think. Really? Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, found that one-third of women's purses contain feces that are likely to be on the floor of public toilets. When you get home and put your purse on your kitchen table or couch, welcome these germs in the family.
The remedy Rx: If you use a public washroom, hang your handbag on a hook or leave it in your lap, never on the floor of a cabin. And when you're done, wash your hands. With soap. For 20 seconds. And do not use the air dryer. And to live your happiest and healthiest life, you should not miss those 70 things that you should never do for your health.