Top ten germ-risk hobbies for Britons
Humans have been fighting a war against germs for centuries and just when we think that we are on top of things, someone does a study and companies make millions on hand sanitizer. One of the most recent germ studies, compiled by Dr Lisa Ackerley, reveals the hidden germ danger lurking in everything from a girls’ shopping trip to a gym workout.
It seems that the most mundanely innocent hobbies are the ones that pack the most germs. It’s not sky diving, mountain climbing or base jumping that are the most dangerous past time for Britons… how about cooking, gardening, shopping and owning a pet. Here’s a list of the top ten most germ infested hobbies in the UK:
1. Cooking at home: campylobacter can be caught from raw chicken on unwashed hands, chopping boards and knives, and is responsible for nearly 300,000 food borne illnesses each year.
2. Gardening: the toxocarosis bug, which is transmitted from animals into the soil, in severe cases may cause infection leading to eye problems, lung, liver, heart or even brain lesions.
3. Shopping: Superbugs such as MRSA and other viruses can lurk on everything from changing room handles to chip and pin machines.
4. Socialising with friends: on nights out, germ ridden hands come into contact with everything from contaminated peanuts on a bar to shared garlic bread and poppadoms.
5. Looking after a pet: common habits such as pooper-scooping, changing litter trays and even stroking a pet can lead to nasty parasites and bacteria being picked up.
6. Video/computer gaming: players are at risk of picking up germs such as Staphylococcus Aureus and viruses that can lead to skin infections, diarrhoea and sickness. People snacking while gaming can transfer bacteria straight from their hands to their mouths.
7. Festival-going/camping: unwitting fans are in danger of picking up E-coli from fields where livestock have grazed, leading to cramps and nausea.
8. Gym workouts: viruses left on equipment can lead to skin infections and flu.
9. Ten-pin bowling: germs like salmonella and E-coli can linger in ball finger holes and breed on finger tips.
10. Country dancing: moist hands are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria which can cause gastroenteritis.
Before we don goggles and wrap ourselves in cellophane, all of the above hazards can be beaten by simply washing hands with soap and hot water or by using a hygiene gel whenever hands may be dirty. It is important to be aware of the transmission of germs without being psychotically obsessed and anxious – we are on top of things, one just has to be sensible.
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