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Controlling Germs

By: Andy Hughes - Updated: 16 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Germs Micro-organism Bacteria Fungi

Germ is the general adjective used to describe micro-organisms that share this planet of ours. There are limitless species to choose from, some live around us, some even live inside us, some are harmful, and some keep us healthy. Controlling the hostile organisms help to keep our families, our pets, and ourselves healthy and happy.

Types Of Micro-Organisms

Some of the different types of hostile micro-organisms that surround, and sometimes invade us are -
  • Bacteria - such as Salmonella which causes food poisoning
  • Viruses - such as Rhinoviruses which cause colds
  • Fungi - such as Trichophyton which causes athlete's foot
  • Parasites - such as Giardia which causes diarrhoea

Transfer Of Infections

Infections caused by micro-organisms are transmitted to humans and animals by a variety of means. Since they have no independent movement, that have to be conveyed into the 'host' by various means -
  • Inhalation - breathing in small particles of dust and water during our daily lives. This introduces influenza, measles and tuberculosis
  • Ingestion - eating or drinking contaminated food or water can allow cholera, polio and dysentery to infect the body
  • Inoculation - scratches or bites can introduce infections into the bloodstream, malaria, hepatitis and MRSA are transmitted in this way.
That's the background for some of the micro-organisms that surround us, and can infect us if precautions are not taken. So, what is the best method of control for germs?

Cleanliness is the enemy of all harmful micro-organisms. Washing your hands regularly in hot water, using soap, and ensuring that all your clothes, bedding, crockery and cutlery are washed properly at high temperatures will reduce almost all harmful germs and prevent spreading.

Heat will destroy a large number of germs, so ensure that your washing and cooking are carried out at recommended temperatures to destroy bacteria living on or in clothing and food.

Disinfecting will ensure that surfaces stay chemically clean and provide a safe environment for you, and a hostile one for germs.

Drying is a death sentence to germs, they cannot live on clean dry surfaces, but they love moisture, so pay close attention to cleaning and drying cloths, towels, mops and so on - ensure they are cleaned regularly, and replaced often.

Personal Hygiene

Proper care and attention to bodily hygiene will dramatically reduce the potential for micro-organisms to multiply and spread.

Bathe every day, giving special attention to armpits and the groin area, and ensure that you dry thoroughly, chapping leads to itching, scratching, and potential infection through broken skin.

Change underwear, socks, tights and so on daily, and ensure that your outer clothes are changed and laundered frequently to ensure personal comfort, as well as reducing bacterial spread.

Keep your nails short and clean. Use paper tissues and napkins and dispose of them carefully. Avoid sharing items like tooth brushes, razors, hair brushes and so on.

Pets

However much you love your family pet, remember that if unchecked, your pet's body and internal systems can become a veritable capital city for micro-organisms. Bear in mind the following points to keep your pet, and your family safe from infections.
  • Check your pet regularly for signs of ill health, and have it checked regularly by a vet for any infections or illnesses
  • Wash your hands after feeding or handling your pet
  • Keep a separate set of dishes and utensils for preparing and serving your pet's food, and never mix them with yours
  • Clean and disinfect regularly areas where your pet eats
  • Do not let your pet share your food, or eat off your plate.
Controlling germs is almost entirely a matter of rigid cleaning routines. Extra time and care taken in keeping your family, your pets and your home clean will protect you from the most common infections transmitted by micro-organisms. Control your surroundings, and you can control germs.

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