Office Germs Spread Fast − Be Smart to Keep Them at Bay

image009By Heart MD Institute Editors Published: 07 January 2015

Researchers at the University of Arizona have “clocked” the speed and spread of germs in an office setting, and it’s faster than you can imagine.They found that just a single door contaminated with a virus can allow the bug to proliferate to about 50 percent of office surfaces and employee hands within four hours.

In the experiment, researchers applied a non-infecting virus similar in size, shape, and viability to common cold viruses onto a push-plate door at the entrance. Within just two hours, the germs spread to the break room coffee pot, microwave controls, and refrigerator door handle. Later, the virus moved on to further infect the restrooms, personnel cubicles and offices, phones, desks, and keyboards.

The researchers then gave a portion of the employees hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes. When those individuals were tested, the detection of the virus dropped from 39 to 11 percent.

A similar spread time was seen in an earlier study where an individual worker was “infected” with a harmless artificial virus. In four hours, the virus was also detected on half the hands of co-workers and commonly touched areas.

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