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How You Catch a Cold: Where Do Cold, Flu & Household Germs Hide?

The common cold starts when a person is infected with the virus, and how you catch a cold varies from case to case. According to WebMD, we catch viruses by touching things that are infected with germs, such as a doorknob, a keyboard, elevator buttons and staircase bannisters, and then passing the germs along by touching our nose or mouth. When our immune system notices something is wrong, it attacks all the bad germs—leaving our bodies exhausted. Cold and flu viruses can survive up to 24 hours on some surfaces, which means those germs can linger in your home for much too long. It's important to learn where cold, flu, and household germs hide to prevent the spread of cold and flu in your family.

Places where cold, flu, and household germs hide:

  • Computer keyboard
  • Doorknob
  • Eating utensils
  • Faucet handles – approximately 229,000 germs per square inch on frequently used faucets!
  • Work desks – up to 21,000 germs per square inch
  • Kitchen sink
  • Escalator handrails
  • Shopping cart handles
  • Light switches
  • Remote controls
  • Toys
  • Pens, pencils
  • Public bathrooms
  • Airplanes

It's safe to assume that any public area, such as bathrooms, elevators, etc., will be contaminated with germs, and can contribute to how you catch a cold and the flu. Washing our hands reduces the number of people who will get sick with colds by 21%1, so be sure to wash your hands after using the bathroom with a disinfecting hand soap like Dettol® Antibacterial Liquid Hand Wash for at least 20 seconds. It's also important to wash your hands before touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Disinfect surfaces in the home with Dettol® Disinfectant Spray to kill 99.9% of germs when used as directed. Include bedside tables and video game controllers in your hunt for cold, flu, and household germs. How you catch a cold can seem like a mystery, but taking precautions to maintain a healthy home can help reduce your risk.

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