They're lying in wait for you at the ATM machine and on your computer keyboard at work. Secretly, they attach themselves to your hands when you push a shopping cart at the store. The little pests will even attach themselves to your children's hands when they romp on playground equipment.
They're germs, and they're lurking in more places than most people think, just waiting to be touched so they can hitch a ride on people's hands.
"Most people think they have a good idea of where germs are, but I think they would be surprised to learn of the places or things where they can pick up germs that may make them sick," said Dr. Charles Gerba, Environmental Microbiology professor at the University of Arizona.
Where the Germs Lurk
According to Dr. Gerba, many people know there are germs in bathrooms, but may not realize that the computer keyboard at work or the sponge in the kitchen can be even filthier than a toilet seat. From the workplace, the home and school to cars, trains and planes, germs are everywhere. Even during activities such as exercising, playing, shopping, going to the movies, attending sports events and commuting, people are coming in contact with germs and may not realize it.
A Simple Solution
Since many germs are spread by hand contact, practicing good hygiene every day is a solution to the problem. When soap and water aren't available, using an instant hand sanitizer like Purell will do the job. This alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills 99.99% of the most common germs that may cause illness.
A list of "99 Places Where Germs are Likely to Lurk" includes:
At work-elevator buttons, phones, shared ink pens
At the gym-exercise machine handles, mats
When traveling-subway poles and handles, gas pump nozzles
At school-shared toys and books, cafeteria trays, playground equipment
At home-pet toys, light switches, thermostats
When shopping-escalator handrails, shopping basket handles.
Knowing where germs are and practicing good hand hygiene can help keep families healthy.