Pre­vent­ing the spread of in­fec­tion

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - NEWS - DR. PAUL ROUME­LI­O­TIS

As we are now of­fi­cially en­ter­ing into the cold and flu sea­son I want to talk about pre­vent­ing the spread of germs.

Be­cause for most vi­ral in­fec­tions in­clud­ing the com­mon cold, the flu and gas­tro-en­teri­tis, there is no spe­cific treat­ment, preven­tion is best.

We talk a lot about the vi­tal role of hand wash­ing and how im­por­tant it is to“cough or sneeze into our sleeves ”. as a re­minder, you should wash your hands of­ten with soap and wa­ter or an al­co­hol-based hand san­i­tizer, es­pe­ciallyafter us­ing the toi­let, be­fore and af­ter eat­ing or feed­ing oth­ers, af­ter blow­ing your nose and af­ter touch­ing any­thing a sick per­son has touched.

How­ever, I also want to dis­cuss what other pre­cau­tions you can take to pre­vent the spread of germs at home, school and at work. we know that viruses can live for at least a 24-48 hours on sur­faces in­clud­ing:

• Toi­let han­dles and seat tops

• Door­knobs and light switches

• Key­boards

• Tele­phones counter and ta­ble tops and other work sur­faces

• Handrails

• Re­mote con­trols so, it is im­por­tant to clean these ar­eas or items fre­quently in or­der to kill any germs that may be ly­ing on them. re­mem­ber, germs are very tiny and are in­vis­i­ble to us.

Pre­par­ing and us­ing a home­made dis­in­fec­tant so­lu­tion:

There are many com­mer­cial dis­in­fec­tants that you can pur­chase. how­ever you can pre­pare a home­made dis­in­fec­tant so­lu­tion us­ing bl each which is ef­fec­tive in dis­in­fect­ing hard sur­faces con­tam­i­nated by blood or other body flu­ids. To pre­pare a so­lu­tion, mix one cup (250 ml) of house­hold bleach with 10 (2500ml) cups of wa­ter. This is a one in 10 di­lu­tion; one part bleach, 10 parts wa­ter. use rub­ber gloves and pro­tec­tive eye-wear when mix­ing. never mix bleach so­lu­tions with am­mo­nia or other dis­in­fects, as this can re­sult in toxic fumes.

Al­ways clean sur­faces first with soap and wa­ter, be­fore us­ing a dis­in­fec­tant. when clean­ing spe­cific ob­jects, dip them into a bucket con­tain­ing the dis­in­fec­tant so­lu­tion, then re­move and let them dry (of course this ap­plies to ob­jects that are not elec­tronic or sen­si­tive to be­ing dipped in to a liq­uid so­lu­tion). For sur­faces, use paper tow­els or a clean cloth soaked in the bleach and wa­ter so­lu­tion and then let the sur­faces dry. For safety’s sake, keep all clean­ing so­lu­tions away from chil­dren and pets.

On a fi­nal note, here are some other help­ful in­fec­tion preven­tion tips.

• Do not share tow­els, face­cloths, kitchen uten­sils, glasses or tooth brushes.

• Toys used by chil­dren who are ill should not be shared with other chil­dren un­til they have been cleaned and dis­in­fected.

• When pos­si­ble, any sick per­son at home should try to keep a dis­tance of at least six feet (two me­tres) away from oth­ers. also, avoid hav­ing vis­i­tors at the house.


It's im­por­tant to dis­in­fect ar­eas fre­quently, in an ef­fort to stop the spread of germs.

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