Healthy Living: Stop! Don’t Touch That Refrigerator Door!

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Well, not unless you want to catch a cold, suggest research scientists  from the University of Virginia. It’s difficult to determine just how many folks catch colds or the flu from simply touching everyday items like doorknobs and light switches each year. But, we now know, that cold germs can live on these objects for up to a day or more. Yuck.

This recent study found:

Out of thirty adults showing early symptoms of colds, sixteen tested positive for rhinovirus, which causes about half of all colds. They were asked to name 10 places in their homes they had touched in the preceding 18 hours.

“We found that commonly touched areas like refrigerator doors and handles were positive about 40 percent of the time” for cold germs, Winther said.

All three of the salt and pepper shakers they tested were contaminated. Other spots found to harbor the germ: 6 out of 18 doorknobs; 8 of 14 refrigerator handles; 3 of 13 light switches; 6 of 10 remote controls; 8 of 10 bathroom faucets; 4 of 7 phones, and 3 of 4 dishwasher handles.

Additionally, they found that mucus from the infected adults stayed on items up to two days. Double yuck.

So, does that mean that our mother’s were right? Of course…they’re always right! Remember to wash your hands, and don’t put your fingers in your nose! Mom always knows best.

On the bright side (if there is one), this should give us all pause next time we mindlessly turn on the TV to occupy ourselves, or open the refrigerator door to stand there while the cool air washes over us wondering what’s good to eat. Instead, we might put down the remote control and take a brisk walk around the block. Fresh air is good for the common cold!

(I don’t really know if that’s true – but that’s what my mother told me).

Source: Marilyn Marchione – AP

Illustration: Seattlepi.com


One response to “Healthy Living: Stop! Don’t Touch That Refrigerator Door!”

  1. I think your mom was right. 😉

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