Your 20 Second Disease Prevention Tool

Believe it or not, one of the easiest, most effective ways to avoid certain types of infectious diseases and illnesses is completely free and takes approximately 20 seconds. Here are some of the most effective practices you can adopt to protect yourself against influenza and the common cold, several gastrointestinal disorders, and help to prevent the spread of infection to others.

Throughout the duration of the day we touch and encounter germs from a variety of different sources… contaminated surfaces, restrooms (no need to elaborate there), door knobs, foods, other people, computer key boards, even money. If you don’t wash your hands after touching these surfaces, you can infect and others with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Let me provide a little scenario…

John uses the restroom and forgets to wash his hands post flush (a toilet handle hundreds of others have touched over the past week). He exits the restroom stopping by the vending machine next to the restroom on his way back to his office on the 3rd floor. He takes out a dollar from his pocket, selects B7 from the vending machine (the Cheddar Cheese Cheetos). He picks up his bag and heads to the elevator where he selects floor 4. Upon exiting the elevator he runs in to Bob from central receiving and warmly greets him with a handshake. After catching up with Bob, he makes his way back to his office where he opens the door, sits down at his desk and cracks open the long awaited bag of Cheetos. Upon finishing the bags, his fingertips are of course cheese coated which can only be removed by, yes you guessed it, sticking his fingers in his mouth to remove the orange residue.

In this scenario how many germs did John come in counter with? Statistically speaking, between the flush handle, the vending machine buttons, the door knob, the elevator buttons, and Central Receiving Bob’s hands (not to mention everything Bob had touched that day) probably around 2,000,000, give or take a germ.

Am I suggesting you walk around everywhere with gloves, not touching anything, and not shake hands with people (especially people named Bob)? Absolutely not. The point of this scenario is to create awareness and the tidbit of knowledge that while we cannot always avoid coming in contact with germs, by one simple act we can help prevent from those germs unknowing entering our body! So for heavens your hands! FYI: Here are some of the MOST germy places!




The bottom of a woman’s purse


Shopping cart handles

Remote controls (especially in a hotel or public place)

Hand rails

Door knobs