Consumer Health Blog

Six Places You’re Most Likely To Get Sick!

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Edited and excerpted from Paige Fowler, Men’s Health. For full article, click here.

Germ Hotspot: Work
Culprit #1: Your Desk.
Office desks harbor hundreds of times more bacteria per square inch than do the toilet seats in those same buildings. … Wipe down your phone, keyboard, monitor, and desk with disinfectant wipes at least once a day. … And avoiding eating in front of your computer–food particles contribute to germs.
Culprit #2: The Break Room’s Refrigerator Door
… 44 percent of office refrigerators are cleaned on a monthly basis–22 percent … just once a year. … Half of the most commonly touched surfaces in an office–like the fridge–can become infected with a sick person’s germs by lunchtime. … Harmful bacteria can easily migrate from the bathroom to your hand to cutting board to your mouth. … Wash your hands before eating. …

Germ Hotspot: PUBLIC RESTROOMS
Culprit #1: Sinks
The sink may be the most germ-ridden surface of them all, according to a study by the non-profit NSF International, since the dampness allows microorganisms to survive.
Culprit #2: Hand Dryers. Rubbing your hands under a traditional dryer can boost the number of bacteria on your skin by up to 45 percent, a study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology found. Use paper towels to dry–and to open the door as you leave. …

Germ Hotspot: THE BANK
Culprit #1: ATMs. … Each key on an ATM harbors an average of 1,200 germs, including E.coli and cold and flu viruses, University of Arizona researchers report.
Culprit #2: Cold, Hard Cash. Each bill contains an average of 26,000 bacteria, according to Oxford University scientists. … Keep hand sanitizer in your car and scrub off as soon as you leave the bank.

Germ Hotspot: THE GROCERY STORE
Culprit #1: Carts. Wipe the handle down with sanitizing wipes—many stores offer them at the entrance. … In addition to germs from other shoppers and kids, raw meat may leak on the cart … Wrap meat packages in a plastic bag before putting them in your cart. …
Culprit #2: Reusable Shopping Bags. … Researchers found coliform bacteria–from raw meat–and E.coli in nearly every reusable bag they sampled. Machine- or hand-wash your bags between uses and use separate bags for meat and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination. …

Germ Hotspot: HOTEL ROOMS
Culprit #1: TV Clickers and Light Switches. A University of Houston study found these two things to be the most contaminated items in hotel rooms. Pack your own wipes to clean off the surfaces you touch every day.
Culprit #2: Maid’s Cleaning Carts. …They’re packed with bacteria, meaning there’s a high risk of transferring those germs from one room to another. If you’re there for less than a few days, hang the Do Not Disturb sign to prevent acquiring bugs from other rooms during your stay. …

Germ Hotspot: THE GYM
Culprit #1: Gym Weight Equipment. One study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found cold-causing viruses on 63 percent of the gym equipment. … Disinfecting twice a day didn’t do anything to lower the virus count since plenty of people still use them between wipe-downs. Pack your own hand sanitizer …
Culprit #2: Weight-lifting Gloves. Japanese researchers found that staph bacteria found on weights and machines bind to polyester, the material used in many gloves. … Ditch the gloves. … Remember to be extra careful about keeping your fingers off of your face during your workout.


Abington Surgical Center works consistently and conscientiously to prevent the spread of germs. We are proud of our very low infection rate. Information provided is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.