Keeping Clean from Germs

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Keeping Clean from Germs

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Many types of germs can cause illness or disease. Viruses have the potential to destroy cells in the human body that are healthy. Germs are all around us so it is difficult to avoid them completely. But, there are some practices that can help to avoid picking up some germs. The easiest thing that can be done is to wash hands before eating and after using the restroom. The following looks at specific types of germs and highlights things that can help to avoid getting sick.


Bacteria are organisms that are able to survive in many types of environments. Bacteria are plentiful in places where there are many people. Public restrooms, schools, and shopping malls are just a few locations where there is likely to be plenty of bacteria. In addition, bacteria are easily spread. For instance, if there is a drinking fountain outside of a public restroom it’s very likely to have plenty of bacteria. Many people exiting the restrooms use the drinking fountain and some do not wash their hands after every restroom trip. A person with bacteria on their hands will leave germs on the drinking fountain, resulting in the next fountain users to pick up the bacteria and transfer it elsewhere. Bacteria can cause colds and flu. Sneezing, coughing, nausea, runny nose, and headaches are just a few of the irritating symptoms of these illnesses. Sickness caused by different types of bacteria may be treated by antibiotics prescribed by a physician. Along with hand-washing, covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing can stop the spread of germs. These are very simple practices that can keep more germs from entering and circulating around in the air.


Viruses live inside humans. Unlike bacteria, a virus can only live on the surface of an object like a toilet seat or a sink for a very limited amount of time. A virus can cause the flu or a bad cold. A stomach virus can also cause nausea and vomiting. There are many different viruses and each has its own qualities. Some viruses last 48 hours or less, while others last for weeks. An examination or blood work done by a physician can help to find out more about the illness. Unfortunately, an antibiotic is not useful in the fight against a virus. Those who make handwashing a regular habit have a better chance of avoiding some viruses.


Fungi are similar to a growing plant. Athlete’s foot is a common type of fungi that many are forced to deal with. The athlete’s foot is easily spread and is likely to be picked up in places such as a locker room, or public pools where people tend to walk around barefoot. The athlete’s foot thrives in moist, humid environments. A shower floor is a common place to find this type of fungi. Athlete’s foot and other types of fungi can often be cleared up with over the counter medicines. Wearing sandals or special footwear while using the showers at the gym or workout facility can help to avoid the risk of the Athlete’s foot. The athlete’s foot and other types of fungi have a tendency to persist if not treated.


Protozoa is a parasite that can cause illness in humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are different types of protozoa including Ciliophora, Sporozoa, Mastigophora, and Sarcodina. Protozoa enter the body when food or drinking water is contaminated with fecal matter and can live in the intestines of a human. Protozoa can lead to diseases if it continues to flourish inside the intestines. Always wash hands before handling any type of food, and be sure to have a clean surface when preparing meals. Germs can be transferred to different food items by using the same cutting board or placing the food on a dirty counter-top. A cook who takes a few precautions is more likely to avoid food contamination.

Last modified: March 12, 2020

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