March 27, 2011

March 27, 2011
More Ways to Protect Yourself from Germs


Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Sunday and I hope you are having a safe and great weekend so far. It has been a very busy one for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Yesterday, I started righting a blog about how to avoid germs that I would like to conclude today.

5. Soap Dispensers

About 25 percent of public restroom dispensers are contaminated with fecal bacteria. Soap that harbors bacteria may seem ironic, but that is exactly what a University of Arizona study found. "Most of these containers are never cleaned, so bacteria grow as the soap scum builds up," says microbiologist Charles Gerba, Ph.D., who directed the study. "And the bottoms are touched by dirty hands, so there is a continuous culture feeding millions of bacteria." Be sure to scrub your hands thoroughly with plenty of hot water for 15 to 20 seconds and if you happen to have an alcohol based hand sanitizer, use that, too.

6. Grocery Carts

The handles of almost two thirds of the shopping carts tested in a 2007 study at the University of Arizona were contaminated with fecal bacteria. In fact, the bacterial counts of the carts exceeded those of the average public restroom. To protect yourself: Swab the handle with a disinfectant wipe before grabbing hold (stores are starting to provide them, so look around for a dispenser). And while you are wheeling around the supermarket, skip the free food samples, which are nothing more than communal hand to germ to mouth zones.

7. Airplane Bathrooms

When microbiologist Charles Gerba, Ph.D., tested for microbes in the bathrooms of commercial jets, he found surfaces from faucets to doorknobs to be contaminated with E. coli. It is not surprising, then, that people often get sick after traveling by plane. Clean your hands thoroughly with a sanitizer and try not to directly touch the surfaces.

8. Doctors' Offices

A doctor's office is not the place to be if you are trying to avoid germs. To limit your exposure: Bring your own books and magazines (and toys, if you have your children or grandchildren with you) and pack your own tissues and hand sanitizers, which should have an alcohol content of at least 60 percent. If possible, in the waiting room, leave at least two chairs between you and the other patients to reduce your chances of picking up their bugs. Germ droplets from coughing and sneezing can travel about 3 feet before falling to the floor.

Hopefully, these tips will help you lead a healthy life.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,



Daddy Dab