Help Prevent Spread of Germs in 6 Effective Ways

March 30, 2021

Did you know that there can be more germs on your phone, keyboard, or remote control than on a toilet seat? Also, the most common ways germs spread include through our mouths and noses.

Facts like these beg the question: How much do we know about how to effectively prevent the spread of germs?

The recent pandemic increased awareness around everyday hygiene, as the world came together to curb the spread of the virus by practicing healthy prevention and sanitization habits. It is well known that covering coughs and sneezes and keeping clean surfaces are simple ways to keep germs from spreading. However, there’s so much more to preventing the spread of germs…especially where the nose is concerned.

It is important to have a baseline definition of what germs are and how they may affect you. Get informed and take action to help protect yourself and your family, friends and co-workers from risk of infection.

What Are Germs? 

Simply put, germs are microscopic organisms that exist in four main categories:

  1. Viruses are microscopic organisms that live inside host cells and reproduce within our bodies, spreading illness. They can also survive for a short amount of time on surfaces. Viruses cause infectious diseases like the flu.
  2. Bacteria are single-celled organisms that live off the nutrients from their surroundings and can reproduce outside or inside the body, causing infection. Some bacteria are good and help us digest nutrients from our meals, while others can cause illnesses like strep throat.
  3. Fungi are plant-like organisms that live off plants, people and animals. They can cause rash-like conditions, like athlete’s foot.
  4. Protozoa are one-celled organisms that often spread diseases through water, causing intestinal infections that can lead to diarrhea, nausea, malaria, etc.

Germs can be found everywhere, including on food, plants, other humans, animals, in the air, or in fluids like saliva. While not all germs are bad, some can cause infection or disease that may threaten an individual’s health. This is why it is important to know what you can do to prevent the spread of germs and mitigate their impact on your health.

6 Tips to Help Prevent the Spread of Germs

Germs are abundant and microscopic in nature. Exposure to germs can happen through direct contact and through the air or body fluids that may be contaminated.

The good news is that there are several ways to help protect yourself and reduce risk of spreading germs to others. You might be surprised by how much of a role your nose plays here.

1. Cover Up
Studies show that when you sneeze you are releasing thousands of germs into the air, which can then land on surfaces or be inhaled by others nearby. Play your part by covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze to help protect others.

2. Discard Waste Properly
If you use a tissue to wipe your nose, hands, mouth, etc., help prevent the spread of germs by disposing of it immediately in the trash or toilet. If you place your used tissue on a table or anywhere else, you are risking the possibility of your germs spreading onto that surface. Studies indicate that germs that cause illnesses, like the cold or influenza, can live on surfaces for 24 hours or longer in some cases.

3. Wash Your Hands Regularly
It is important to wash your hands multiple times a day. Use warm water and soap to wash your hands by scrubbing them together for at least 20 seconds, or two rounds of the “Happy Birthday” song before rinsing your hands under clean water.

Washing your hands is especially crucial to do after sneezing, coughing, using the restroom, or touching a used tissue. Your hands touch several different surfaces a day, picking up germs along the way, and those germs can and will find passage into your body if you touch your face or food.

4. Stay Home If Sick
If you wake up feeling unwell, call in sick from work or other commitments and stay home if you are able. This is especially true if you have a fever, runny nose, or cough. Your illness may be contagious, and you may risk spreading your germs and infecting others. If you start to feel ill while out and about, go home and take a break. Resting will help with your recovery while reducing the spread of germs.

5. Avoid Sharing Used Items
Keep your germs to yourself when possible. You should avoid sharing products such as towels, toys, lipstick, drinks, and utensils, and accepting those from others, as they may be contaminated. Saliva can easily transmit disease-causing germs. If you host a gathering, be sure to clean your used plates, cups, and utensils thoroughly with soap and hot water.

Airborne transmission of germs through the nose and mouth is also very common. Be aware of the risks associated with sharing spaces to prevent the spread of germs.

6. Sanitize Yourself—And Your Nose
When on the go, it is recommended to carry an alcohol-based hand gel that you can use when a proper sink is not available for you to clean your hands. . The CDC recommends a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. Disinfecting wipes are also beneficial in keeping surfaces clean.

However, these are not the only areas you should focus on sanitizing. One of the main culprits in the spread of disease-causing germs is lying right under our noses. The nose is a primary source for the spread of germs. One clinical study demonstrated that 80% of surgical site infections were caused by germs whose DNA matched with germs in the nose. The moist, hairy environment inside your nose makes it a perfect breeding ground for germs, which can be problematic when you consider the average person touches their nose approximately 100 times per day. The cycle of re-contamination between the nose and hands is a potential risk to you and others. But we can interrupt this cycle with better hygiene.

Sanitizing the nose has been clinically proven in hospitals as a safe prevention measure to kill harmful germs in the nose that may cause infection. When paired with other existing infection prevention practices, it has been shown to help reduce the risk of infection.

You can keep your nose sanitized with Nozin® Nasal Sanitizer® antiseptic, which kills 99.99% of germs and helps protect for up to 12 hours. Learn more about the importance of sanitizing your nose and how you can help protect yourself and others from risk of infection.

Health Professionals:
Request a comprehensive analysis of your colonization risk mitigation protocols today.

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