As the weather cools down flu symptoms may be lurking nearby. Although flu season does not peak until November, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges individuals of all ages to get vaccinated but what about other bacteria prowling to infect you? Many of us are likely to encounter some of the germiest places on a day-to-day basis, but are unaware of that fact. Here are five of the most bacteria infected spots.
A load of wet laundry: Doing laundry is inevitable. While transferring clothes from the washer to dryer, you may be exposing yourself to E. coli. E. coli can cause anything from diarrhea to respiratory illnesses to urinary tract infection.
In order to reduce your chances of getting E. coli you should:
- Wash your clothes at 150 degrees.
- Wash whites with bleach, which is known to kill 99.9 percent of germs.
- When transferring clothes from the washer to dryer, do so quickly.
- Always wash underwear separately, because each pair of underwear contains one gram. of feces, according to health expert Frances Largeman-Roth.
The hotel-room remote control: After an exhausting trip, many individuals usually unwind by checking out what's on TV. However, in two separate studies your hotel-room remote control was found to have traces of the bacteria responsible for the cold virus and E. coli.
In order to reduce your chances of catching a cold or E. coli:
- Health experts recommend that hotel guest clean the remote control, phone, clock, radio, door handles and switches with germicidal wipes.
ATM buttons: According to a British study, an ATM machine may be as dirty as public toilets. Health experts compared the bacteria from an ATM to the bacteria found on a public toilet. They discovered ATMs were contaminated with the same level of bacteria as public toilets.
To reduce your risk of exposing yourself to bacteria one should:
- Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Use it after every ATM transaction.
- Be sure to use it after handling money as well.
Your handbag: According to microbiologist Chuck Gerba, your handbag can contain millions of bacteria. Your bag can contain germs such as pseudomonas, which can cause eye infections and staphylococcus bacteria as well as salmonella and E. coli.
To reduce exposing yourself to bacteria you should:
- Avoiding placing your bag on the floor of public places.
- Keep your bag off of kitchen counters.
- Try to purchase leather vinyl purses, which can be easily cleaned.
Shopping cart handles: Shopping carts may have anything from salvia, bacteria to fecal matter.
To avoid this rather nasty encounter you should:
- In today's world many supermarkets offer disinfectant wipes at the door, make use of these wipes and disinfect your cart handle.
- Carry along your own cart cover such as Grip Guard.