The dry throat, stuffy and runny nose, and of course sneezing and coughing are all components of the nasty common cold. Head colds this time of year are common and very contagious. Many colds are spread through germs and bacteria from our saliva or viral fluids through coughing and sneezing.
It may surprise many to find that there are more germs found in the office than many other places. In fact, there are more germs on a typical worker’s desk than a toilet seat, according to a University of Arizona study in 2002.
Also, phones are on of the best way to catch a cold because people touch them so often.
While the common cold is not commonly deadly, there are other similar viruses that are also readily spread through viral fluids and touching. For example, strep throat, pneumonia, and several other colds are highly contagious.
This is also a huge concern in classrooms. With that many contagious children, it is quite likely that students will pick up each others germs. This time of year teachers are often sick as well.
Keeping antibacterial gel, lotion, wipes, and other disinfectants in the room is important. It is also important to wash hands frequently.
While many viruses are caused by bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics, there are also several colds that are caused by viruses, which are smaller than bacteria. These are unable to be treated with antibiotics.
The germs on a toilet seat tend to be about 49 per square inch. Desktops however, have 21,000 germs per square inch. The dirtiest items are typically phones. Phones have germs from our hands, ears and mouth. Office phones tend to have 25,000 germs per square inch.
Coughing and sneezing can leave behind a vast array of viruses that can live for three days on any given surface. That means a co-worker who talked on the phone two days ago that is now home sick could possibly spread their illness. That also means that taking an antibacterial or disinfecting wipe and disinfecting the phone could save other people in your office from getting sick.
It is also true that 80% of the infections you get are transmitted through the environment. Taking those extra steps to keep from getting sick will certainly help.
It is also important to take other precautions during the cold and flu season. While getting a flu shot may help, it is also a good idea to keep healthy in other ways. For example, exercise and nutritious food will help keep your immune system where it needs to be.
Also, clear your desk and use disinfecting wipes. People often do not clean and disinfect their desks because they don’t want to lose an important document. It is important to get organized and keep your documents on a file so that your workstation can be properly cleaned.
Also, when it comes to washing hands, it is necessary to use soap and hot water for 18-20 seconds. It typically takes that long to ensure that the germs will be killed and removed.
Also, staying home from work if you are sick is okay. No one really wants to miss a day of work because they will most likely fall behind; however, it is necessary to keep from spreading germs and making other people sick. This is especially true if you are working with people all day. A basic guideline to staying home from work is to be free of symptoms including a fever, sore throat, nausea or diarrhea for at least 24 hours.
It is not good for the company if you choose to work when you are contagiously ill. The disease will most likely effect other people and spread around the office.
Also, for a speedy recovery, just remember all those things mom did when you had to stay home from school.
Drink plenty of fluids and hot tea for a sore throat. Avoid too much sugar and foods that are unhealthy even when you are feeling great.
Hot cereal and oatmeal are easy to digest and easy to prepare. Also, rest can clear up quite a few of cold and flu symptoms in a minimal amount of time.
If you haven’t invested in disinfecting wipes, consider that you could keep yourself healthy and help other people at work to catch on to the fact that staying healthy means killing germs.