Zee Media Bureau/Udita Madan
New Delhi: It's amazing how easy it is to catch germs, that too from the unlikeliest of places. You touch something, without even giving it another thought and voila! Suddenly you read something about how maximum germs are latching on to you by touching that thing.
It's extremely hard to keep track of everything you touch on a daily basis, whether you're using hygenic facilities like public toilets, etc., as well as impossible to sanitize your hands every few minutes.
With winter season just around the corner, wherein allergies are at its peak, it becomes even more important to shield oneself from these infectious germs and viruses.
However, we can surely help making you aware of the things that harbour germs, infections and viruses, familiarize you with them so that next time onward, you can be more careful.
1. Cellphone: That's right! Your mobile phone might be imparting germs and can be deadly too! Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is resistant to most antibiotics and can also prove fatal if it enters your boodstream. So, every time you dial a number or send a text message, you're transferring the germs on your hands to your phone and then straight to your mouth.
How to defeat it: The easiest thing you can do is to sanitize your cell once a week with disinfecting wipes. If your don't want the internal parts of your phone damaged, avoid using a sanitizing spray.
2. The shower: Surprised? After all, how can germs lurk at a place where you bathe to become clean? Well, in case you weren't aware, germs thrive in warm, wet environments, which is why you are more likely to get infected while you shower. When experts tested five plastic shower curtains, they found millions of microbes lining every square inch, with 80 percent being either Methylobacter or Sphingomonas.
How to defeat it: Pull the shower curtains all the way shut after you're finished, to prevent bacteria from thriving inside the plastic folds. You can also opt for a fabric shower curtain and an all-metal showerhead. If you go with a cloth curtain, toss it in the washing machine once a month, using the hottest water the fabric can handle.
3. Hospitals: This one you have surely heard of. Hospitals are home to the maximum number of germs and infectious viruses, etc. Clostridium difficile, also known as C. Diff are a type of bacteria that are responsible for causing diarrhoea in hospitals for decades. Ironically, the bug remains dormant inside healthy people until they begin taking certain antibiotics, which eliminate beneficial bacteria that keep C. diff in check.
How to defeat it: If you're going to be stuck in the hospital for more than a day, make sure your menu includes yogurt that contains "live" or "active" cultures. You'll be ingesting L. acidophilus, one of those good bacteria that can beat C. diff but is killed off by antibiotics.
4. Airplanes: Travel lovers, this one's for you! You may be in contact with norovirus! What most travellers don't realize, however, is that this norovirus can even hijack airplanes. When we look at how contagious a disease is, we calculate how many microorganisms of that species are required—from less than one to 100,000—to produce an infection. Norovirus has a dose of 0.6, which means a single bacterium can produce a very serious outbreak.
How to defeat it: Because they interact with everyone on the plane—and on any other flights they've been on that day—the flight attendants are the most likely people to contract and transmit norovirus. So if they hand you a beverage, drink it with a straw. And if they serve you a prepackaged meal, sanitize your hands after opening it.
Now, bid adieu to germs, infections and viruses by staying aware!