Infected Newsroom: How Germs Spread
POSTED: Friday, October 28, 2011 - 7:11pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 31, 2011 - 4:35pm
EL PASO - Cold and flu season is almost here. So to show you how easily germs and bacteria can spread, we infected our newsroom.
In the coming months, many of you might end up seeing the inside of a doctor's office.
"Now that the temperature is dropping we should start seeing an increase in flu like symptoms," Del Sol Medical Center Nurse Pat Foret said.
We all get sick, so to keep you safe we wanted to show you how easily bacteria spreads. That led us to Glo Germ, a company that even the government uses.
"The United States Army uses Glo Germ in bio-terrorism training," Glo Germ President Joe Kingsley said.
The company manufactures plastic germs...
"...which are 98% accurate in mimicking the physical characteristics of real bacteria," Kingsley said.
To infect our newsroom, we came in before anyone else and had one of our producers rub the fake germs on like lotion. Then he went about his day, touching keyboards and making calls. We also spread the powdered germs onto the hands of another employee and had him infect places he would normally touch, like door knobs, push plates, and newsroom phones. No one else knew, and they went about their regular work day. Hours later, we flipped the lights off to show our employees what they had been touching all day long. Then we went around checking people's hands. We found the fake bacteria had spread between people's fingers, onto the back of their hands, and even onto people's phones, and chances are, the fake germs will continue to spread.
"The average person touches their face two to three thousand times, and you don't even know it. So, your hands are filthy. You're touching your face, you're touching your nose, and that's a perfect opportunity for you to introduce bacteria and viruses into your system," Foret said. "Some viruses can stay for months, so it's important to clean your hands frequently."
That proves that clean hands are important, but do you scrub away all the germs when you wash your hands? Next Thursday on News Channel 9, we put hand washing to the test. See if you're properly washing your hands, next Thursday on News Channel 9 at 10pm.