Do you know where germs are lurking?

Germs are a part of our everyday lives. All of us come into contact with thousands of types of bacteria—both good and bad—on a daily basis. Fortunately, maintaining good hygiene helps keep us from getting sick from the majority of illness-causing germs we encounter.

Katherine Edwards, MD, chief of pediatrics at Anne Arundel Medical Center, shares tips about the best ways to prevent the spread of germs and keep your family healthy during cold and flu season.

1. Know Germ Hot Spots







“High touch” items have a higher concentration of germs, which means there’s a greater risk of getting sick from coming into contact with them. Some common hot spots include:

  • Money.
  • Cell phones.
  • Faucet handles.
  • Toothbrush holders.
  • Purses and other bags.
  • Door knobs.
  • Grocery carts.

2. Keep Your Hands Clean

There’s no other practice that helps prevent the spread of germs more than washing your hands. When you can’t wash with soap and water, antibacterial hand gel or wipes are a good substitute.

3. Clean and Disinfect

Clean and sanitize germ hot spots in your home and, if you can, your workplace, on a daily or weekly basis. Hot soapy water, a bleach solution and/or disinfecting wipes are the best agents for eliminating germs from a variety of surfaces and items.

4. Practice Other Healthy Habits

One of the best ways to stay healthy is to observe healthy habits. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, stay hydrated and be physically active. It’s also important to avoid touching your face and to limit contact with people who are sick.


provider-2011-edwards_fmtKatherine Edwards, MD, is chief of pediatrics at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Originally published Feb. 10, 2016. Last updated Jan. 3, 2019.

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