Did you know that when it
comes to your carpets and
rugs experts say most
carpets contain an amazing
200,000 bacteria particles per
square inch? Dr. Gerba's
research has revealed that
carpets in most homes are
4,000 times dirtier than toilet
seats!
Germs are everywhere!  Did you know that you can pick up E Coli, rhinovirus,
staph, salmonella, coxsackievirus, campylobacter, rotavirus, lice, pinworms and
many more from public places as well as from your home? These organisms are
dangerous and contain toxins that can cause major illness such as, damage to
your digestive tract, your circulatory system, and your respiratory system. Here
are some high germ areas to keep a look out for:

*carpets and rugs (see side note)
*kitchen sponges and dishcloths (see side note)
*kitchen sink faucets
*microwave tough screens
*inside and outside of the refrigerator
*salt and pepper shakers
*light switches
*baby changing tables
*pet dishes
*toothbrush heads
*The bathtub especially the drain
*your child's potty chair
*towels that have been laying around
*bedding (see side note)
*your vacuum cleaner
*your cell phone
*the remote control
It's hard to tell the difference between flu and common cold
symptoms. Both are respiratory illnesses, but they are caused
by different viruses. Here is a simple breakdown of symptoms to
help you determine if you should be treating a cold or the flu:

Flu symptoms                                     Cold symptoms
Sudden onset of illness                      Slow onset of illness  
High fever                                           Low or no fever  
Extreme fatigue                                Mild fatigue  
Dry cough                                           Severe cough    
Achy head                                           No headache  
Achy muscles                                     No achy muscles  
Chills                                                   No chills  

Because cold and flu symptoms are similar, consult your doctor
to be sure.
Researchers at the USDA's
Agricultural Research Service
found that some common
cleaning methods for sponges
like soaking them in a bleach
solution, lemon juice or water,
did not eradicate the germs.
Experts say the best ways to
clean a dirty sponge are in the
microwave (on high for one
minute) and in the
dishwasher, which will kill 99.9
percent of all germs.
Bedbugs, tiny bloodthirsty
insects, are hosts to
organisms that cause
hepatitis B and Chagas
disease. These insects hide in
the crevices of mattresses, in
pillows and in bedding.
Experts recommend cleaning
your mattress once a month
and washing bedding and
pillowcases once or twice a
week.
Bleach may not help your poor sponge but it can kill many of the germs
that are on other everyday surfaces. Below is a chart to help you in your
fight against germs.
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