A new study by the University of Arizona reveals that just one sick person in the office means half of the office's surfaces are contaminated by lunchtime!! Some of the likeliest germ hotpots include telephones, desktops, tabletops, doorknobs, the photocopier and the office fridge.
Researcher Kelly Reynolds says, ''Touching surfaces...rather than coughing and sneezing over people...is how most germs in an office are spread. There weren't a lot of people roaming around. They basically go in their offices, sit in their chairs and are on their computers. They may go to the bathroom, and they have a common kitchen area they share and a photocopier, but that's about it. Using tissues to wipe your face, using hand sanitizer or having it available for use, and washing your hands before lunch and after a big meeting resulted in an 80 per cent reduction across the board, for all three viruses, in their risk of infection.''
Fellow researcher Charles Gerba says, ''We really felt that the hand was quicker than the sneeze in the spread of disease. Most people think it's coughing and sneezing that spreads germs, but the number of objects you touch is incredible, especially in this push-button generation. We push more buttons than any other generation in history. The key message is to stay at home when you're sick.''