We all know the common places to find germs are public restrooms, the office kitchen, and school locker rooms. But there are so many other locations where you might find cold and flu germs. You might be surprised how much exposure you have to these viruses daily.
If you spend time in any of these locations, you’re more likely to catch a cold or flu virus. If you can avoid them as much as possible, your risk decreases significantly. Here are some surprising places where you might find cold and flu germs.
One of the most common places to find the flu virus is soup bowls and other foods at the office. A study found flu germs in about half of all office food bowls. These bowls are usually heavily contaminated because other people touch them while serving themselves.
Even if all of the employees in your office are healthy, you can still become infected because of all the touching and bumping of bowls at the office. Once you touch the bowl, you can contaminate your hands, nose, and mouth when you eat the soup. This is a very common way to catch the flu.
Door handles are one of the most common places to find flu germs. When people are sick, they often touch door knobs, and when they do, they often leave behind their germs. Door handles are one of the most contaminated items in public places.
People often touch door handles with bare hands, and even if you wash them, you might not clean them well enough to remove bacteria. Hand sanitizer can help, but only if you use a lot of it and rub your hands for 20 seconds. Flu germs can live on door handles for hours. If you touch them, you can easily get sick. The flu virus can live on many different surfaces, including door handles.
The office chair and keyboard are two items you might not think about when you’re thinking about places where you might find cold and flu germs. Many people use their office chairs and keyboards every day. They may not know these items are contaminated with cold and flu viruses. When you touch your chair or keyboard, you can easily pick up the viruses from your hands and then put them in your nose and mouth. You can easily pass the virus to other people when you touch these contaminated items. And you can also bring them home to your family.
Cold and flu viruses are found in places you might not expect them to be. If you spend time in any of these locations, you’re more likely to catch a cold or flu virus. If you have to go to one of these places, try to wash your hands before you do. Make sure you use a hand sanitizer after you touch any contaminated surfaces.