Germy gloves and scarves- oh my!
It’s December, and with that, comes snow and colder weather, which means we all are digging out our gloves, hats and scarves for the winter season. It’s common to see many runny noses, hear coughs and sneezes and be experiencing a sore throat this time of year.
Be honest, have you ever used your glove or scarf to wipe your nose and/or cover a sneeze or cough when a tissue isn’t available? Then you continue to touch your steering wheel, door knob, seat or shopping cart all while spreading those germs to others. This is called cross contamination.
“People use gloves to protect themselves,” says Maggie Busta, WMC infection preventionist. “However, gloves do not shield us from germs. Gloves may carry e-coli, cold and flu viruses, such as influenza, and can potentially contribute to the spread of these.”
Winter gear picks up everything bare hands do, so it is best to wash these items weekly. “If you are worried about touching public surfaces (ATM’s, cross walk buttons, shopping carts, etc) it is best to remove your gloves first because it is easier to sanitize your bare hands,” says Busta.
“Washing your hands is the most important way to prevent the spread of infection. Carrying tissues and hand sanitizer with you at all times can help keep you and your community healthy.”