A recent survey by the BC Centre for Disease Control discovered that 80% of infections spread from items that people access or touch every single day. The most common culprits are money, keys, and cell phones. In fact, a 2011 study by the London School of Hygiene found traces of fecal material on 1 out of every 6 smartphones they evaluated. GROSS!
Although this might sound strange and a bit questionable, this incidence occurs as a result of everyday activities that most of us engage in. For instance, when visiting a gas station, it’s quite normal for people to visit the restroom, grab their keys, improperly wash their hands, touch the door knob, pay for their gas with cash or credit card, touch the gas pump, etc. Then, the next person comes along and the cycle repeats. That is, individuals mindlessly touch hundreds of items every single day; however, most of them are not aware of how unsanitary these practices are. It’s just normal behavior, something they do – day in and day out.
Further reports indicate that apartment building occupants are aware of bacteria outspread from coughing or sneezing in common areas, but they often fail to connect how those same contaminants are circulated via their hands. For example, if someone sneezes in your building’s lobby and don’t cover up, their germs land on the lobby counter, where a lot of people place their smartphones when juggling items. Those germs will get transferred subsequently to your phone. You then pick up your phone, go on to touch the elevator button or even a doorknob. Let’s say, another person then touches that same elevator button or doorknob and then wipes their nose or mouth; that bacteria will have even better access to contaminate the next individual. Yes, this may sound extreme, but it happens every single day, millions of times a day. This is how infections are spread.
As stated by Dr. Charles Gerba, an eminent microbiologist from the University of Arizona, some of the highest levels of contaminated surfaces include playgrounds, daycare centers, bus travel depots, etc. However, healthcare complexes and offices harbor less frequency of germs as they undergo frequent cleaning.
According to Gerba, office areas were found to be relatively clean, contrary to the popular belief. The toilet bears almost 50% germs per square inch, which is minimal to keyboards or phones that retains roughly 21,000 and 25,000 germs/square inch respectively.
There are a few simple steps you can take to limit the spread of bacteria. For instance, you can cover your mouth when you sneeze, use antibacterial soaps and disinfectant sprays, use hand sanitizers, and keep common areas clean and sanitized.
A & S Total Cleaning Service is a well-known executive cleaning firm that provides top-notch commercial cleaning services. They have been operational since 1989 and can help you keep your place of business clean and help avoid the spreading of germs. Let us help you stay healthy this cold and flu season.