Charles Gerba is the high priest of germ detection. Until he came along with his environmental studies, we all thought eating at our desks had to be one of the most germ-free dining experiences we could have. Turns out, we were very, very wrong.
The average office is teeming with germs and boasts hundreds of times more bacteria than (here it comes) a toilet seat. And, if you think your area is safe because you’re a health nut and use hand sanitizers on everything, think again. Gerba found that bacteria in one filthy office area will just multiply and crawl right over to its next-door neighbor. Blech!
All the surfaces that are for common use, such as the elevator button, the enter and send buttons on the fax machine, and the restroom door handles are party central for germs.
All you teachers out there, your offices have the highest germ count per square inch and, good news for you lawyers, your offices have the lowest count.
Well then, are we doomed? Have we no options? Oh, there’s hope. We can fight back. Simple things like washing hands (15-20 seconds, warm water, and use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the restroom door), either not shaking hands with walking cold factories or using sanitizer after, wiping keyboards and other equipment down with a sanitizer, and keeping your hands off your face. Germs love to move from your hands to your mucous membranes, which are around the eyeballs and inside the mouth and nose. Don’t do it!
All these steps will help keep infections where they belong – somewhere else!
Finally, in the interest of public health, get the owner of the pigsty in your office, and there’s always one, to clean up.