Germs can live anywhere
Posted January 25, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.