IMPORTANT CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION
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With the global concern about viruses and germs dominating the news, let’s take a look at what germs are, places they can be found and steps you can take to help prevent the spread of them in your daily life.
A germ is defined as “a microorganism or a portion of a one that is capable of developing into an organism or a part of one.” Germs are all around us: in the air, soil, water, and on the inside and outside of our bodies. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Many are actually needed to keep us healthy. A seed that grows into a plant is a germ. Only a small percentage of germs cause infection.
The four main types of germs are: bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), germs can spread when a person touches something contaminated and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
According to a new study released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the CDC in March of 2020, scientists concluded that the COVID-19 virus is “stable for several hours to days in aerosols (tiny airborne particles that can survive on air currents over distances) and on surfaces.” Airborne transmission can occur when infected people cough, talk or sneeze germs into the air.
The SARS virus, which has some similar characteristics to the novel coronavirus, was also studied and detectable on the following surfaces for these timeframes:
The CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves and cleaning these and other high-touch surfaces with soap and water or a disinfectant wipe. Items packaged in cardboard, plastic or metal containers, such as canned goods, should be wiped down before use.
High-touch surfaces include: tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
Because it’s possible to spread the COVID-19 virus without exhibiting symptoms and for it to live on various surfaces, public health officials reaffirmed the need for these critical health precautions: