Germs! Although we try to avoid them at all costs, these sneaky organisms creep up on us and can make us ill without warning. Seemingly invisible, germs and bacteria can be passed onto each other through a myriad of ways, so it is important to learn the best ways to avoid them and keep our bodies in full health.
There are four different types of germs; here is what we know about them:
Bacteria: These are one-celled creatures that get their nutrients from their environment. It's important to know that bacteria can reproduce in or outside the body. That is why it can be found around your home as well as in your body.
Viruses: Unlike bacteria, viruses need to be inside a living host to grow and reproduce. They cannot survive long if they are not inside a host, such as a human, animal or plant. That said, some viruses can survive a short amount of time outside of a host and can be spread by touch – which is why it is so important to wash your hands regularly.
Fungi: These multi-celled organisms rely on another living thing such as plants, humans, or animals to get their nutrition. Fungi are particularly fond of damp, warm places and can spread very quickly!
Protozoa: Like bacteria, protozoa are a one-celled organism; however, they are spread via water. They typically cause infections in the gut leading to symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea and stomach pain.
Germs and diseases can spread in lots of different ways. Typically, they are passed on through the air via sneezes and coughs. But some germs can also be transferred through touching something that is contaminated. When germs find a host, such as a person, they gobble up nutrients and energy, producing toxins that act as a poison to our bodies. It is these toxins that cause the symptoms that make us feel ill. The length of time germs can hang around, depends on what type of germ it is and where it is. A variety of viruses can trigger the common cold. On cold hard surfaces such as rails, doors and keyboards, the cold virus can remain infectious for nearly 24 hours. Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that gives you stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea and is spread by droplets through the air that can rest on hard surfaces for days or weeks if the conditions are right.
The toilet is a heaven for germs and it’s not just the inside of the toilet that you need to worry about. Of course, the toilet bowl is the main culprit because if left uncleaned particulate matter can breed bacteria and get out of control. However, you must also consider that the lid and toilet handle breed bacteria that can be passed on through touch. Harpic, can help minimise your risk by keeping your toilet and bathroom clean and 99.9% germ free.
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