Did you know that germs are actually animals? Germs are microscopic beings that can cause all kinds of diseases and illnesses in humans. The two main types of germs are viruses and bacteria. It’s important to note however, that not all bacteria are harmful. In fact, some of them help the body to work properly.
Germs are found in most places and can be spread in a number of different ways:
- through the air (via coughing and sneezing)
- person to person (via touch, sharing personal items or through bodily fluids)
- via contaminated food or objects (germs can be transmitted by other people or animals to the food we eat and the things we touch).
While we cannot always prevent the spread of germs, there are positive steps we can take to beat the spread of germs.
- The most important way to halt germs in their tracks is to wash your hands using liquid soap and water. When washing, ensure you wash the front and back of your hands. Rinse in warm water and dry thoroughly with a paper towel, or hand dryer. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser is a good option when soap and water is not available.
You should always wash your hands after using the toilet, changing a nappy, coughing into your hands or blowing your nose. You should also wash them before, during and after preparing food and before you eat.
- It’s important that you cover your mouth when sneezing and coughing to prevent germs becoming airborne and being passed onto others. Always sneeze and cough into a tissue, rather than your hands, and wash your hands after using tissues.
- If you are unwell, avoid contact with others and stay at home when you are sick. When you are sick, you should avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing other people and avoid preparing food for others. And don’t be a martyr and go into work. Not only will you slow your recovery, but you will spread your germs further afield.
- You must always take care when preparing food because the spread of germs from the kitchen is quite common. A few key points include washing your hands before preparing food, avoiding food past its use-by-date, keeping raw and cooked meat separate, cooking food thoroughly and storing food at the correct temperatures.
- Don’t forget your home may be harbouring all kinds of nasty germs, so make sure you practice good hygiene in your home. Clean and disinfect bathrooms and toilets at least once a week, wash towels and sheets in hot water, wipe up any spills immediately, throw out sponges and dishcloths regularly and never use the same one for floor spills and washing the dishes! You should also clean your rubbish bin and refrigerator once a week to prevent the spread of germs.
So don’t be complacent when it comes to germs. Do your bit to stop them in their tracks.