Keep it clean: Strive to keep your work life germ-free

Posted: Monday, December 12, 2005

Dr. Charles Gerba, co-author of "The Germ Freak's Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu: Guerrilla Tactics to Keep Yourself Healthy at Home, at Work and in the World" (HCI, $11.95) advises workers to be prepared with germ-killing products this flu season.

"Some cold and flu viruses can survive on work surfaces for up to 72 hours, so an office becomes an incubator," he says. "When someone goes home, the virus they brought with them can linger in enough concentrations to potentially sicken seven people."

This is especially true for people who often work during their lunch hour. Since desks have 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat, workers often re-contaminate themselves by not disinfecting the area. Although cleaning crews regularly clean office bathrooms, they don't disinfect your desktop during the day, so washing hands frequently won't do the trick if you return to an infectious workspace.

- Lisa Radke



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