Pathogens in everyday life: Most pathogens lurk here

Pathogens in everyday life: Most pathogens lurk here

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The dirtiest things we touch every day

If you want to protect yourself from infectious diseases, you should, among other things, pay attention to certain hygiene measures and try to avoid pathogenic germs as much as possible. But such pathogens can be found almost everywhere. An expert from the USA explains which objects can be particularly contaminated.

Infectious diseases such as colds and flu not only spread through the so-called droplet infection, but also through direct contact such as shaking hands and objects that are touched by many people. But what are the objects on which a particularly large number of germs are lurking?

People touch their face up to 30 times an hour

As explained in a recent post by the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, most people touch their faces between three and 30 times an hour without being aware of it.

The problem is that what they touched before was often contaminated with germs, says the American doctor Gregory A. Poland from the Mayo Clinic. "Bathroom fittings, door handles, escalator railings, computer terminals, everything that is usually touched by the public."

Particularly contaminated objects in everyday life

How germ-rich are common objects? Gregory A. Poland names the objects in everyday life that contain a particularly large number of pathogens:

  1. Let's start with the money. "Bad, but not highly transferable," says the doctor.
  2. Touchscreens, electrical devices and telephones? "Bad."
  3. Menus in the restaurant? "Really bad."
  4. Doorknobs? "Really, really, really bad."
  5. What about computer keyboards? "It has been shown time and again that they are really heavily contaminated," says Dr. Poland.

Protection against infections

These dirty surfaces can help spread the common cold and flu viruses that make us sick. Dr. Poland has some suggestions about how to protect yourself from everyday infections: “First, keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Secondly, either wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand disinfectant. ”In addition, an annual flu shot provides some protection.

Wash your hands thoroughly

The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) explains how thorough hand washing works on its portal "":

  • First, put your hands under the tap.
  • Then soap your hands thoroughly - both the palms of your hands and the back of your hands, fingertips, spaces between fingers and thumbs. Also think of your fingernails. Liquid soaps are more hygienic than soap bars, especially in public washrooms.
  • Rub the soap gently in all areas. Washing your hands thoroughly takes 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Then rinse your hands under running water. In public toilets, use a disposable towel or your elbow to close the tap.
  • Then dry your hands carefully, also in the spaces between your fingers. Disposable towels are best suited for this in public toilets. At home, everyone should use their own towel.


Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Mayo Clinic: The dirtiest things you touch (accessed: December 17, 2019),

Video: Pathogens Song (May 2022).


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