Germ and disease prevention have never been the hottest topics to discuss, until in recent months. The mention of germs and disease is enough to conjure mental images of a sea of people sickened by a pathogen that spreads so fast that no one was able to stop it in time. Today, these images are a reality for many. The Covid-19 pandemic is still spreading rapidly around the globe, with the number of cases increasing day by day.
As scary as the pandemic sounds, protecting oneself is still doable, and in fact it lies in improving and maintaining one’s daily habits. These tips will help you in preventing the spread of germs and bacteria, and these tips will surely go beyond protecting you from the typical cough and cold, and could even help safeguard your health. Initial shares more on what you can to enhance your hygiene regime.
The state of the Covid-19 pandemic
The coronavirus is spread mainly via infected respiratory droplets by direct contact with infected persons or by contact with contaminated surfaces and objects. The coronavirus brings about a variety of symptoms. Infected persons could be asymptomatic, displaying no symptoms at all, or they could display symptoms ranging in severity.
Symptoms range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms include a fever, dry cough, or tiredness. These symptoms are the most common, and are symptomatic of other common illnesses like the common cold, or even the flu.
Moderate symptoms include aches and pains, sore throat, headache, diarrhoea, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, and a loss of smell and taste along with potential discolouration of the extremities (fingers and toes). Severe symptoms consist of breathing difficulties, chest pains and a loss of speech or movement.
Common transmission of diseases
Common diseases spread range from the common cold, the flu, and gastroenteritis. These are just some of the commonly spread diseases in Singapore.
The flu and common cold are spread through infected droplets and touching contaminated surfaces. Gastrointestinal pathogens are commonly transmitted through unclean hands coming into contact with food, transmitted via contact with an infected individual, or via cross-contamination, which is when a surface that is already contaminated with germs and bacteria.
Diseases commonly spread through infected droplets, or via contact with infected people, be it directly or indirectly. It is very easy to spread such diseases, but it is just as easy to stop the spread of these diseases as well. The answer lies in practising proper hygiene.
Five Tips to Prevent Spread of Germs and Bacteria
The answer in prevention of diseases and stopping the spread lies in practising proper hygiene- especially hand hygiene. Here are five tips you can do to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, and protect yourself:
Maintain proper hand hygiene
Practising proper hand hygiene is key to protecting yourself and preventing the spread of diseases. Proper hand hygiene includes practising the 7-step hand washing method with soap and water. This aids in making sure to scrub all areas thoroughly.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that handwashing with soap has the power to prevent 30% of diarrhoea-related illnesses and 20% of respiratory infections (colds). Currently, antibiotics continue to be administered for such preventable illnesses, and this could potentially create strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Handwashing not only prevents and protects from such preventable diseases, but it also holds the key in preventing the next health crisis of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In addition, use a hand sanitiser when engaged in interactions and activities or placed at high traffic or risk environments. Here is when you need to wash your hands:
- When you cough or sneeze and wiping off your mucus
- Before and after using a washroom
- Food preparation and consumption period
- Dealing with cleaning, housekeeping and trashes
- Interaction with people including hand shakes
Proper food preparation practices
Gastrointestinal diseases are easily preventable, yet they infect millions of children worldwide. Worldwide, diarrheal diseases account for 1 in 9 child deaths, and are also the second-leading cause of child deaths in children under the age of five.
Most gastrointestinal diseases are spread through contact with infected individuals, droplets or faeces, and often also spread via food, be it an infected person handling the food, or through cross-contamination.
Practise proper food preparation protocol to prevent the spread of such gastrointestinal illnesses. This includes, but is not limited to proper hand washing with soap before and after touching or retrieving food, wearing gloves, and cleaning tools before and after usage. Separate cutting boards should also be used for different types of food (meats, fish, poultry, seafood and vegetables).
Another practice would be to use a food thermometer to measure the temperature of the food. This helps to ensure thoroughly-cooked food, and kill any pathogen present in the food. Lastly, ensure there is no presence of pests that spread harmful diseases through the microorganisms they picked up from unhygienic surfaces.
Regular disinfection and sanitisation
Disinfection and sanitisation of surfaces and items is also key to preventing the spread of germs and bacteria. High-touch surfaces and common areas are areas that ought to be thoroughly disinfected and cleaned as they are areas that many people pass through, and the potential for cross contamination or coming into contact with others infected droplets is high.
High-touch areas include light switches, staircase railings, tables, lift buttons and door handles. Often, we do not think much of it as it is often a surface we touch for a fleeting moment, but it is for that brief moment where we are exposed to the surface that we might inadvertently encounter with a contaminated surface, thus spreading the pathogens further. Find out what are the disinfection misting options you can safeguard your premise.
Wearing a mask
Covering your face has never been trendier. Face masks help protect one from inhaling potentially infected droplets. They also protect others from inhaling infected droplets, should you be sick. It also prevents you from touching your nose and mouth while transferring pathogens through respiratory means. They help to reduce transmission of viruses from one person to another. Hence, it greatly helps prevent sudden clusters of infection from occurring, be it the flu, cold or even the coronavirus.
Not sharing personal items
The saying goes, “Sharing is caring”. It works when you are sharing something good, maybe a book, or a recipe, but when it comes to personal items like combs, brushes or even clippers, sharing is not caring. In fact, sharing personal items could lead to cross contamination between two individuals. Worse still, should either party have an open wound, sharing personal items exposes them to potential blood-borne diseases as contact with bodily fluids increases the risk of transmitting even more diseases.
Aside from the risk of blood-borne diseases, personal items might also be highly contaminated with bacteria on its surface. No one, except the owner, knows where the item has been, what environment the item was exposed to, and whether the item was cleaned before being shared- even more not to share things in this case.
How to protect yourself at the workplace or outside your home
It is easy to protect ourselves at home. In the safety of our home, we are able to control our living environment to provide the maximum levels of protection for ourselves. Outside the boundaries of our home, it is a different story. We may not have total control over the environment. Some areas might be less clean and sanitised that we know, or maybe someone might have sneezed in your direction by accident. However, it is still possible to protect yourself.
To protect yourself outside of your home, it is important to ensure that your own hygiene is up to standard. Thoroughly wash and clean your hands before and after food, after using the restroom, and after coming into contact with high-touch surfaces. Should soap be unavailable, sanitise them thoroughly with a hand sanitiser.
Protect yourself by wearing a facemask at all times other than engaging in exercises. Be it a homemade cloth mask or a surgical mask, proper face coverings will go a long way to preventing potentially infected droplets in the air from entering your system.
At the workplace, disinfect commonly touched surfaces such as the light switch, door handle, tables and pantry surfaces. Common areas, entry and exit areas should be cleaned more often. This eliminates any potential pathogens lingering on the surrounding surfaces or in the air.
Ensuring workplace hygiene and safety
Overall, practising and maintaining good hygiene is every person’s responsibility. In particular, good hand hygiene is key to preventing and stopping the spread of germs and bacteria.
Initial’s hand sanitisers aim to enhance and optimise hygiene standards in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. This alcohol-based sanitiser kills up to 99% of germs and they are quick-drying. This makes it ideal for use in between washes and in areas where soap and water are not as readily or conveniently available. The dispenser unit also has an antibacterial surface to prevent germs from growing on the surface. The tamper-proof unit assures the consumable is safe for use too.
Hand soap dispenser is key to stopping the spread of disease. It helps reduce the transmission of diseases like the flu and the common cold. Along with soap, it is essential to complete the last step of the 7-step hand-washing method by drying your hands. Wet hands provide a moist environment ideal for bacterial growth. Thus, this makes them 1000 times more likely to spread via wet or damp hands.
Improve the indoor air quality
Do you know there are pathogens and pollutants that linger around the air that makes us sick. This includes respiratory illnesses, allergies, and infections. They come about through poor air circulation, compromised indoor air quality, contaminant, pollutant, workplace activities and presence of unwell individuals. Some of the key components like the volatile organic compound (VOC), dust mites and mould are often found in workspaces that affects employees’ health and safety. Protect your employees through installing an air purification that circulates and filters the air with at least 95% removal of airborne particles.
Contact Initial Singapore at (65) 6347 8138 for a professional washroom solution tailored for your business needs.