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America’s Top 2017 Hangouts For Germs and Bacteria

More stealth than any fighter jet, more incognito than any spy, more invisible than H.G. Wells’s “The Invisible Man,” harmful germs and bacteria lie and live in plain sight during flu and influenza season.

To put it bluntly, germs are everywhere, outnumbering 100 to one every single blade of grass in your yard and every hair on your head. Almost every household appliance, work device and personal item we use is a haven for potentially harmful germs. And during flu season, the only true place to live germ free is in a bubble. Unfortunately, that’s not a realistic option for anyone.

As we venture out daily into our germy worlds, it helps to know where we should use extreme caution and what places are germ Ground Zero. The national health organization American Family Care dug for the germy truth and found the five germiest places and objects in America in 2017:

  • Bank ATMS: You won’t just be withdrawing cash if you use for fingertips instead of your knuckles or gloves.
    Community Pens: You don’t know who will be sharing their germs with you when using community and company pens at businesses, schools and offices. Carry your own pen to be safe from acquiring the signature of mystery germs.
  • Cellphones: There’s no mute button on the scary number of germs that lie in wait on our Smart Phones’ screens and numbers. Clean your phone regularly with disinfectant wipes.
  • Gas Pumps: Nothing drives up the cost of fuel like catching a bug while filling up. Wipe down pumps before using them, use a paper towel while your fueling or wash up afterward.
  • Other People’s Hands: There’s no kinder way to greet someone than with a handshake, but during this fierce cold and flu seasons, try waves, fist bumps and air kisses.

There are hundreds of germ-ridden public objects we need to approach and handle with care from grocery store shopping carts to water fountains. Hand sanitizer, as University of Arizona microbiology professor Charles Gerba tells Time.com, is one of the best on-the-go germ defenses we have for our sometimes scary and sometimes mysterious journeys into the germy unknown.

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