TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – It’s that time of year again. The time where everywhere you turn at work, someone’s coughing or sneezing. However, you don’t have to catch what they have.
Germs follow you around everywhere you go. WTHI used glitter and baby powder to represent the germs you carry around, just on your hands.
“Our hands are the number one way we transmit the spread of germs,” said Vicky Trusler, infection control surveillance nurse at Union Hospital. “Whatever we touch, we pick them up and then whatever we touch again, we transmit them.”
All the usual places are the culprits. Everything you use in a workplace setting has layers of germs living on it. As you can see, everything we touched turned to silver, including other people.
“There are different viruses. There are different strains of flu. So different strains of flu virus live for different amounts of time on computer keyboards and doorknobs,” said Trusler. “Some can live on surfaces for hours. Some can live just minutes.”
Other diseases can live for longer than you might think. One disease can live five months on a hard, non-porous surface. Mersa can live up to nine days. While this might seem difficult to believe, the porcelain goddess is not friendly with germs.
“Usually, public restrooms are cleaned more often than our desktops. They’re wiped with disinfectant cloths that potentially kill germs. So you’ll find more germs on those surfaces than public restrooms.”
We’ll always be germ carriers, which is why health officials recommend sanitizing the office when a co-worker’s out sick. However, if you can’t sanitize your hands as often as you like, at least, keep those paws away from the face.
“We have very sensitive mucus membranes in our eyes, nose and mouth. So if you pick up something then touch those, you’ve infected yourself.”