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Health Team

Germs can live anywhere

Posted January 25, 2012

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— Gas pump handles, escalator rails and elevator and ATM buttons are places where viruses or bacteria move from surface to hand. Movies like “Contagion" show how viruses can cause a major health threat internationally. 

“For many of us in my occupation, infection protection, a lot of the things in the movie were very true - things that we're very worried about,” FirstHealth Moore Regional Director of Infection Control Jayne Lee said.

Lee, a registered nurse, promotes proven prevention methods like using alcohol based foams and gels.

Before and after using shared phones or keyboards, rub the surface vigorously with a disinfecting wipe, she said.

“Then you want to let it dry. These wipes take about three minutes,” Lee said.

But nothing beats old-fashioned hand washing.

Lee used Glo Gel with a black light to demonstrate how germs can be missed when you wash too quickly. She said 15 seconds of washing with plenty of soap and friction, especially under rings and fingernails should do the trick.

Another good habit is to avoid touching your face.

“That’s how you infect yourself. Rubbing your nose, wiping your eyes, things like that is how those bacteria get into your bodies,” Lee said.

3 Comments

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  • burnhace Jan 30, 11:02 a.m.

    If First Health Moore were truly concerned about infection control, they would have a PhD microbiologist as their infection control director, not a nurse. All we get from this story is the admonishment to wash our hands and to disinfect everything we touch. This is window dressing and is also an invitation to engage in obsessive-compulsive behavior, not useful information.

  • Ex-Republican Jan 27, 6:30 p.m.

    Must be a really slow news day. How about tomorrow you tell us how long we should brush our teeth?

  • gopack10 Jan 26, 11:35 a.m.

    We all have tons of natural bacterial flora on our skin including staph. Some is good and helps our natural immunity to "stay up on its game" so to speak. But the best thing you can do as they mentioned is the handwashing. It will dramatically reduce an individual's risk of contracting and/or spreading illness such as the common cold or flu. As a nurse however, I would recommend not over using the much stronger antibacterial foams and gels so that you do not destroy what naturally needs to be there and compete with one another to maintain proper balance and create the risk of mutation and resistance. In basic terms, some research feels that we have used so many antibaterical products in our daily lives that now infections from staph and some of the other potentially dangerous bacteria are on the rise because there is no competition between the bacteria to suppress one another and their growth goes into overdrive therefore causing an infection.