Do you have so much work to do that you can’t afford to get sick?
The way someone works may keep illness at bay, but many aren’t following good preventative practices, finds a survey of 1,000 working Americans by SCA, a hygiene product maker.
Hand washing, which is a simple but powerful germ-killing action, isn’t practiced nearly enough. The survey reveals that:
. More than one-third of respondents have seen co-workers leave restrooms without washing their hands.
. Fifty-nine percent of respondents don’t wash their hands after using public transportation.
. Fifty-three percent don’t wash after handling money.
. Thirty-nine percent don’t wash after sneezing or coughing.
In restrooms, a virus known as the nor virus can stubbornly stick on surfaces, causing gastro-intestinal illness if you touch an infected surface, explains Dr. Allison Aiello, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan and a member of SCA’s advisory council.
Soap and water, which Dr. Aiello says is the best cleaning method, is usually available in restrooms.
The next best option is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Using wipes on surfaces like a desk can also help eliminate surface germs.
Because public transit exposes many people to dirty surfaces, pull out a hand sanitizer and wash your hands when getting off the bus or train, Dr. Aiello advises.
Sometimes, germs are circulated in the air when someone coughs or sneezes. Sitting behind a person who isn’t considerate enough to cover their mouth is better than being in front of them. And, if you’re the one with a cold, “Cough or sneeze into your elbow,” Dr. Aiello suggests. “That way the spread [of germs] is more contained.”
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