To celebrate world germ day on 8th January 2017, LondonCleaningSystem.co.uk have produced a comprehensive guide on germs. The guide provides an insight into what germs are and the main types that exist. Additionally, there is also scope on the most frequent sources of germs within households.
What Are Germs?
Germs are tiny microorganisms that exist all around us. In essence they live everywhere – from the food we eat to the air we breathe. Despite their ever-presence, they are anonymous to the human eye because they are so tiny. They can only be seen using a microscope. Most germs do not harm us however there are some that can prove to be formidable antagonists for our immune system's defences. Since germs are so small, they can easily creep into our bodies undetected. The only way a person would know that they have been adversely affected by germs is when they realise the symptoms.
Photo Credit: arleksey / Shutterstock
The Four Main Types Of Germs
Bacteria are single-celled organisms that cannot be seen without the use of a microscope. They survive by getting nutrients from the environment they live in. Their ‘home’ environment can be anywhere – ranging from soil to the human body. With the focus specifically on the latter, bacteria can reproduce either within or outside the human body – as a result cause infections. Infections such as sore throats, ear infections, cavities and more seriously, tuberculosis. Moreover, not all bacteria are harmful. For instance, harmless bacteria residing in the intestines, beneficially assists us in digesting our food.
Unlike bacteria, whom can reproduce independently if they have enough nutrients to feed off, viruses need to be inside living cells to survive. They need a living ‘host’ such as a human, animal or plant to grow and reproduce. They are therefore similar to parasites, as their existence depends entirely on another living being. Viruses are also very shifty, as they can change rapidly to adjust to a new host. Once inside, their main objective is to spread themselves around to anywhere in the body. Detrimentally, they are responsible for causing diseases such as measles, chickenpox, influenza and the common flu.
Fungi are made of multiple cells and can visibly seen. Fungi get their nutrition from living entities such as animals, humans and plants. They thrive in damp and warm conditions. Whilst they do not cause any illnesses, they are suspect to causing uncomfortable fungal infections such as athlete's foot and ringworm. Most fungal infections that grow on the skin are generally pain free and can be treated. Although they could be extremely irritant and itchy.
Protozoa are one-cell organisms that crave moisture. They are extremely tiny and tend to live in water-filled environments such as lakes, rivers, ponds and oceans. In the human body they usually spread when someone drinks contaminated water. They can adversely cause intestinal infections that lead to stomach aches, nausea and severe diarrhea. In very serious cases, they can really attach themselves to a human's intestine and keep growing from within. People should therefore be very careful with regards to where they drink their water from.
The Most Frequent Sources of Germs In The Home Environment
We might not realise it but there are various ‘items’ and ‘things’ within the household that can provide the perfect environment for germs to live and breed in. Items and things such as:
It is therefore highly important that we take the time and make the effort to clean all these things thoroughly. Using antibacterial wipes to clean remotes, doorknobs, telephones and other similar items on a weekly basis. With respect to towels and cloths, regularly washing them rather than repeatedly using them for prolonged amount of time. Moreover, purchasing and correctly applying relevant cleaning products for maintaining high-levels of hygiene in germ attracting areas such as the bathroom and kitchen.
Photo Credit: Khaled ElAdawy / Shutterstock