After surviving a pandemic, countless flu seasons and an endless daily assault from them, we are all experts at weathering the worst sickly intentions of harmful germs. Heck, we’re at the point where there should be a medal for staying on your feet in a germ-filled world that is getting seemingly germier by the day.
“COVID-19 brought the world’s attention to the world of germs as we looked for ways to prevent its spread,” Pulse.com’s Temi Iwalaiye writes.
Yet, it’s still stunning how much we average Americans without a medical degree or nursing background still don’t know about germs. Even the world’s foremost experts on harmful germs, bacteria and pathogens are learning more about them every day as they seek to prevent the next Coronavirus pandemic.
Learning as much as we can about germs sounds about as much fun as spending Independence Day Weekend in the office, but the more we know, the better we can protect ourselves and our families against whatever mysterious health threat germs try to throw our way. For waiting to take protective measures against germs until they start making us sick is not a smart way to maintain good health.
Here’s a quick in-depth 10 Fact Guide to the layman and laywomen’s world of germs. The best part: No mask or social distancing is required when reading this story.
- Germs will never win any height contests, not even in the pathogen world. They are micro-organisms, which means they are so small they can only be seen by a microscope.
- Despite their nickname, germs are not bugs. The term is an encompassing grouping of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites like protozoans and helminths.
- If germs seem like they are everywhere, especially during COVID spikes and flu seasons, it’s because they are. They can be found everywhere: in the air, in water, on food, and on surfaces. Germs are the chameleons chameleons wish they could be, living around and inside people, animal and plants. Our fingertips and elbows alone are home to 2 to 10 million germ units at any given time. Not all germs are bad. The human body alone is home to 1,000 germs species, some of which actually help us stay healthy. Of course, the others are pure sickly evil if they multiply to dangerous levels.
- In defense of the toilet, despite its’ understandable reputation as Germ Grand Central Station, they are not even the most germ-filled surface in the house. Remote controls, smart phones, computer keyboards and cutting boards all have much more germs per inch than toilet seats, which really need to get a new publicist.
- Nobody aces multiplication like germs. One germ can multiply into more than eight million germs in one single day.
- No lawyer, not even Perry Mason or the Lincoln Lawyer himself, Mickey Haller, could defend germs from the undisputable truth. All infectious diseases are caused by germs.
- The next time you wash your hands on the go without drying, remember hands spread 1,000 times more germs when they are damp than when they are dry.
- When we don’t take the time to disinfect our hands and homes frequently and consistently, we take the bad risk of spreading germs everywhere and on everything we touch, including food.
- Bacteria are the germy culprit behind infections like strep throat, tuberculosis and most urinary tract infections.
- Fungi may be the least well known of germs, but they are always up to no good, causing numerous types of infections like yeast infections and athlete’s foot.
Scientists report if we took all the germ-borne viruses on Earth and laid them end to end, they’d stretch for an astounding 100 million light years.
We’ve learned infinite amounts of important knowledge about germs since Walter Reed discovered the first human virus – yellow fever virus – in 1901. But we should never stop learning about germs, where they are at, how they can make us sick, and how they may evolve into serious, fatal and new viruses.
For knowledge is the power that will keep us winning our endless war against germs. And it’s always good to start with the basics of Germs 101.
“Yes, it’s a germy world we live in and while not every germ can cause illness and infections, simple things like regularly washing and drying your hands can help to stop their microbial journey,” Wellness.com’s Liz McGrath stresses.