General information on germs

How can I protect myself against harmful bacteria?

Germs are microscopic living organisms that form a natural part of our living environment. Many bacteria are even useful to our well-being and cause no problems to a healthy immune system. So no need to get alarmed – however, it is important to keep in mind that some germs can be extremely dangerous and cause severe illnesses. A high concentration of germs can also strain the immune system. Fortunately, you can take some simple measures to protect yourself against these germs and bacteria. Continuous disinfection of all surfaces is not necessary – more important is to understand how germs spread, the risks involved and how sufficient hygiene helps combat germs.

Did you know this about germs?

While exposure to bacteria can, to a degree, be helpful for building up the immune system, a high concentration of germs in places you frequently come in touch with can harm your health. This is especially true during times of increased stress or otherwise lowered immune defense. Regularly washing your hands is the most effective way to avoid catching illnesses. However, this is futile if surfaces and objects are not properly cleaned and disinfected. Hard to reach places, gaps and crevices form an ideal breeding ground for germs.

  • Research conducted by the University of Arizona showed that computer keyboards can contain up to 70 times more germs than the average toilet seat. For phones the figure was even higher – they contain over 500 times more germs.
  • 64% of Americans believe that public restroom door handles carry more germs than ATM machines. However, it has been proven that the average germ contamination of ATMs is higher because of the number of contacts and the challenges in properly cleaning between keyboards and fragmented surfaces.
  • The kitchen sink is one of the germiest places in the house, containing more germs than the bathroom. Generally, the most contaminated areas are those that tend to remain moist.
  • Dry places can also be heavily germ-infested. Phone receivers both at home as well as in the office can be loaded with more germs than any other surface. Desktops, keyboards, elevator buttons, and generally electronic user interfaces are also on the top-list of germiest places.
  • In public areas, escalator or stairway handrails, shopping cart handles, handholds in public transportation, but also playground equipment are top germ transmitters. From there bacteria and viruses get transferred to places that are most frequently touched: switches and buttons of electronic equipment, car keys, computer keyboards, mobile and landline phones, steering-wheels, etc. All are places that are typically cleaned less frequently, with hard to reach gaps and crevices.

Do you know your germs?

Germs can be divided into four families: bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa.

Bacteria are made of a unique cell. Once entered inside a body, the bacteria will keep multiplying inside its host, causing infections that result in different illnesses. But not all bacteria are bad: some of them, such as the ones living in your intestines, are vital for your well-being and help your body to extract nutrients from food.

Bacteria in general have the ability to spread rapidly and contaminate your environment. They can survive on surfaces for longer periods of time. It is therefore essential that you regularly clean and disinfect your family’s living environment to prevent bacteria from spreading and eventually causing health problems.

Viruses are much smaller than bacteria and depend on their hosts to survive. However, most viruses can survive without a host long enough to spread from one host to another through surfaces or objects such as door handles or phone receivers.

Viruses attack cells, change their code and function and begin to multiply. They are the cause of a variety of diseases but are difficult to eliminate as antibiotics are inefficient against them. Viruses can easily hide in cracks and crevices or on uneven surfaces that are difficult to clean. Accredited laboratories have proven Cyber Clean’s ability to eliminate specific viruses. Learn more about how you can use Cyber Clean to disinfect hard to reach places and in turn prevent viruses from spreading. Also, keep in mind that human interaction is the most common transmitter of virus contamination: remember to wash your hands regularly and carry a hand sanitizer with you.

Fungi can sometimes be seen by the naked eye as it consists of several cells grouped together. Fungi’s composition is similar to those of plants. Even if fungi are less harmful than bacteria and viruses, these micro-organisms can still be the source of discomfort, itchiness and even infections.

Fungi love humidity and darkness and will therefore grow in places such as your bathtub, under your sink or inside your shoes. Avoiding fungi isn’t complicated: regularly disinfect your environment, especially places with high levels of humidity and always keep your body clean and dry.

Protozoa are parasites that cause extreme discomfort and infection. These microorganisms use contaminated water to develop and multiply. Tapeworm and roundworm are common examples of protozoa. Such parasites can live in your body unnoticed for years, with possibly harmful effects. While inside the body, the parasites will use the nutrients and energy of the host body to produce toxins that can be damaging to your health.

To prevent getting infected by these germs, you must make sure that water you use and drink is not contaminated.

Simple steps for protecting yourself

Not all germs and bacteria are harmful but some can be extremely dangerous. Protecting yourself against germs is essential for your own comfort, health and well-being. Elderly people and children often run a higher risk of bacteria-caused infections but everyone can be at risk if proper precaution is not taken.

Most illnesses and discomfort could be avoided by following some simple advice:

Remember to wash your hands regularly, especially after going to the bathroom. Consider carrying a hand sanitizer with you to clean your hands.

Avoid contact with sick people and stay home if you feel unwell. Germs spread through physical contact; shaking hands with someone that has a cold can lead you to getting infected as well. Read more about how to prevent the flu.

Regularly clean your living environment. Be it at home or in the office, cleaning your immediate surroundings helps you fight bacteria and prevent illnesses from spreading. Avoid infections by regularly disinfecting surfaces that have a high potential of interactions, such as controllers, door knobs and keyboards. Cyber Clean is the most efficient method for cleaning objects and surfaces with hard to reach cracks and crevices that often harbor harmful bacteria.