Stats On Germ Transmission And Tips To Prevention

People today have some very interesting habits. According to Dr. Charles Gerba, microbiologist from the University of Arizona, the average person spends 80 to 90 percent of their time indoors. More people work in offices than any other time in history and an increasing number of people travel. Yet, we spend less time cleaning - 50 percent less than just 50 years ago. The result is a greater spread of bacteria and infection throughout the population.

As a microbiologist, Dr. Gerba has made a living studying the spread of these germs, as well as techniques to combat them. He recently conducted a webcast where he explained his findings on germs and their transmission throughout facilities. Here are some of those stats:

- Children under the age of two transfer germs from their hands into their mouth 81 times per hour; two to five-year-olds touch their mouths 42 times per hour
 - 46 percent of daycare, 28 percent of gyms, 14 percent of restaurant and 10 percent of doctor’s office surfaces test positive for contamination of bodily fluids
 - Cost of going to work ill (presentism) in terms of lost productivity is $500 for a headache and $280 for the common cold
 - Phones and desktops in an office setting range from 21,000 to 25,000 germs per square inch, while the toilet seat averages only 49 germs per square inch
 - Teachers work in the “germiest” office, followed by accountants and bankers
 - Women’s offices harbor more than twice as much bacteria than men, presumably because women often eat at their desks
 - In K-12 facilities, the top three most contaminated surfaces are cafeteria tables, computer mouse and kids desks. One of the cleanest is actually the toilet seat.
 - Hospital cafeterias are the sources of the greatest exposure for hospital-acquired infectious bacteria, often from the tables and serving trays

These are just a few of the many statistics Dr. Gerba shared in his presentation. To view more, click here.