Know more about Bacteria & Viruses as what we call "Germs"

There are many types of germs and they are everywhere. There are two types of germs that make us sick, bacteria and viruses. In both categories are thousands, but they all have 3 main shapes, rods, spheres, or spirals.

Visit CellsAlive site. It has numerous pictures of germs. Also visit this site's Diseases page where you can find out what diseases some germs can cause.

If a lot of the bad germs get in your body, you will get sick. Germs are already in your body, but some are supposed to be there. When these viruses and disease causing bacteria attack, you need to take antibiotics, or medicine.

If someone coughs and doesn't cover their mouth, the germs will fly out on you and you will probably get the other person's germ. If they have a cold you could end up getting pneumonia.

If you don't wash your hands and then you put your hands in your mouth you will get sick. These bacteria are on food mostly the food that sits out for too long.

We've all been there. Someone in the house gets sick, and you just know it's going to go from one family member to another.

You can fight back by doing a few things to kill those germs and keep them from spreading.

Steamaster can protect yourself and family from germs by wiping down the hot spots of your home: doorknobs, faucets, light switches, phones, and remote controls. Use a disinfecting wipe or spray to kill germs.

"Germs are killed during the evaporation process, so it's important that these surfaces stay wet for the length of time recommended on the label," said home care director Carolyn Forte. "If they dry too quickly, you may have to give them a second pass."

While bed rest helps you get over a cold, germs can linger in the bedding. So wash everything in the hot water cycle. If your dryer has an antibacterial cycle, use that as well, setting it to the highest temperature. Remember to de-bug the washer and dryer afterward.

"Germs and bacteria can actually remain in your washer, even after the cycles finished," said Forte. "So it's important every once in a while, to run a hot water wash without clothes or detergent, but a dose of bleach added."

And finally, designate a specific hand towel for your sick family member. Or better yet, use paper ones to toss after each use.

You can also keep germs at bay by using hand sanitizer. It should have at least 60 percent alcohol. Put bottles in convenient locations around the house. Remember, using hand sanitizer does not replace frequent hand-washing.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers - which don't require water - are an excellent alternative to soap and water. If you choose to use a commercially prepared hand sanitizer, make sure the product contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Then follow these simple steps:

  • Apply enough of the product to the palm of your hand to wet your hands completely.
  • Rub your hands together, covering all surfaces, for up to 25 seconds or until they're dry.

If your hands are visibly dirty, however, wash with soap and water. Anti-microbial wipes or towelettes are another option, although they're not as effective as alcohol-based sanitizers.

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