How much more self-inflicted sickness can you take?

Girl with gun to head
We bring it on ourselves, but we CAN wash our hands of it

Vomit, run to the loo, tummy cramps.

Loo again, more cramps, heave-ho de luxe.

Recognise it? Your old friend is back.

Enough to make you puke

Norovirus, food poisoning, gastro – whatever the medics are calling it this week.

You have our sympathies, it’s never very nice.

We’re not that sorry though – chances are highly likely you brought it on yourself.

What! How dare we be so heartless?

No, we don’t buy that you ate something and it disagreed with you. More likely we suspicion it was the bug you swallowed with it when you chowed it down.

Transferred off your hand, onto your food, then straight down your gullet.

That’s right, YOU caused it – and you probably never even knew.

Your fingerprints all over it

Because, before that meal, when was the last time you washed your hands?

No, it’s not an accusation.

Blame it on the high-powered lifestyles we’re all expected to lead – stampeding us through our day with hardly time to breathe – even grabbing lunch on the run.

And there’s the cause, right there.

Sure, you had heartburn because you ate so fast. But the upchucks and the runs? Unmistakeably Norovirus the Nasty – highly contagious and transmitted by touch, usually from your hand.

Which is why we call it the Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease.

What’s the bet you had no chance to wash your hands right through morning and into lunch – or even afterwards, with urgent meetings racked up, one after the other?

Wash Hands logo
We’ve got to re-learn new habits if we’re going to stay alive

So the germs hit your stomach and had time to kick out. Now you’re feeling like death and want to crawl under a rock.

Totally preventable of course – all you had to do was wash your hands. See what we mean by self-inflicted?

And yes, it did come from your hands.

Check the evidence

Because it’s another most uncomfortable fact that our hygiene habits are almost non-existent.

Yucky fact No 1, 95% of us don’t wash our hands properly after going to the loo.

Yucky fact No 2, 62% of men and 40% of women don’t even bother.

Which means after going for a dump, then galloping to work on the train – holding the same grab-handles as other people who had a dump – then the grime on the escalator handrails, or the taxi door handle – straight into handling the day’s mail from the postie who also had a dump – then a few hours at the keyboard with burger grease and mayonnaise traces and finally scoffing the coronation chicken … you get where this is going.

And though a lot of us do, you can hardly blame it on the shop that made your sarnie.

If you don’t wash your hands more often than you do, you are the cause of your own anguish.

Deadly consequences

And with the way germs are becoming more resistant to antibiotics and other medicines, it’s becoming a case of learn new habits or die.

Die?

Never knew washing your hands could be a life and death issue?

Norovirus kills 80 a year. Salmonella about the same. In fact foodborne diseases take out around 500 people a year.

Sure, it’s possible to clobber germs in the places we live and work so they can’t get to us.

Effective defence

There’s a thing called a Hypersteriliser which destroys all viruses and bacteria by releasing an ultra-fine mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide – germs are ripped apart by oxidising – and minutes later the place is sterile.

Because it’s ionised, the stuff reaches everywhere, attracted by electrostatic charge.

It doesn’t touch what’s on your hands though. Or anything you might bring in on your clothes. And if you’ve already got a cold –or norovirus, which is almost as common – you’re going to have to live with it.

Keep you hands clean though, and you can protect yourself from catching anything new.

No more self-inflicted misery – and a lot happier life.

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 30 September 2018 @ 11:33 am

Originally posted on 30 September 2018 @ 11:33 am

Hand wash ritual to save us all from vomiting bug

Girl showing off hands
Super clean, before every meal – super healthy, every day

Know that expression, “if you can’t beat them, join them”?

Applied to the awkward fact that 95% of us don’t wash our hands properly after going to the loo, we don’t like the way it’s looking at us.

Especially when that kind of carelessness brings so many of us down with the vomiting bug, norovirus – aka Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease.

So our suggestion is to turn it around – “if you can’t join them, beat them.”

Reverse psychology

Because frankly, there’s no way we’re going to risk our health out of aversion to a little soap and water. Not if it means stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea – where’s the sense in that?

And it makes least sense of all when we go out for a meal.

A special moment, special food, special friends – suddenly cut short by the awful vomiting bug.

Except it’s our fault, isn’t it?

Grubby paws

When was the last time we washed our hands before we sat down? And all that yuck on them from the loo two hours ago? Small wonder that our tummies go heave-ho as the first mouthfuls go down.

Nicely contaminated by our grubby fingers – they don’t look it, but they are – covered in norovirus or salmonella, too small to see so we kid ourselves that they’re clean anyway.

Next stop, A&E to have our stomachs pumped out.

Or not.

Blame the restaurant

Because no restaurant wants a bad rep for food poisoning when the real cause is so often customers with dirty hands.

So if you can’t join them, beat them, make a ritual out of it – a special hand washing ceremony before anybody eats.

Far-fetched?

Not a bit of it. In some restaurants, it’s already the practice to provide finger bowls – a ritual by themselves. So the idea of washing your hands at table is not so foreign.

And though it’s unusual, they’re not so crazy in popular restaurants either – nobody minds the focus on hygiene, it’s just unexpected.

Which leaves plenty of scope to take it a lot further – if nothing else, people will like it for the novelty.

And though it’s really a serious thing, you can even make it fun. (Thanks again, Northampton General Hospital!)

Halfway there already

On some airlines already, a sealed courtesy-wipe is provided to do hands and face with a meal. Biz-class and above do the same with hot towels.

And in the more exotic Turkish restaurants, part of the whole character is a huge copper basin with hot water brought to the table – and a copper jug to pour water over guests’ hands in a welcoming ritual.

Add scented soap and complimentary towels, and you have a whole hygiene procedure. A restaurant with unique, memorable character too.

Seems other countries have a better take on hygiene than we do. Go to Malaysia, and you’ve got to try “street food” – real, intricate, restaurant quality meals served out in the open, at the roadside.

Scrumptious yes, with your crockery and cutlery brought straight to your table in a basin of boiling water. Haul out your handy tube of gel that you carry always, and your hands are just as safe and sterilised.

A new ritual

Which is why we’re suggesting that a ritual is the thing. We’re already halfway there with the ritual of the phone. Look around you next time you’re out. Everyone on other tables always starts with Facebook or Twitter or something.

OK, so do the same with the gel. Haul it out, pass it round. Make it a feature of being out together. Everyone will know it’s good and hygienic, so there won’t be many refusals.

And if anybody asks why, simply say that nobody’s going to catch Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease if you can help it – not on your watch.

Which is why you do it at home too. These days, folks tend to sit round the TV more than the dinner table. But it’s the easiest thing in the world to pass the gel around.

Habit forming

Before you know it, a quick squidge before eating becomes everyone’s habit – and Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease becomes a rarity more than the norm.

Easy-peasy, huh?

Didn’t know staying healthy could be so simple?

Sure beats being ill when you don’t have to be.

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 29 September 2018 @ 11:15 am

Originally posted on 29 September 2018 @ 11:15 am

Washing up by hand is like doing it in a sewer

Disagreeing woman
Just because a thing looks clean doesn’t mean it is – or that it’s germ-free either

Shocking?

But unfortunately, all too true.

Because you know that cloth or scourer you keep in the sink to scrub the grime off?

It probably has more germs on it than a stack of toilets – 200,000 of them to be exact. The same capacity as a small city sewer.

Germs, germs, germs

And you know why?

Because all it does is scrape food scraps away. Not disinfect or anything.

And unless you wash it out thoroughly with every use – then dry it completely in the microwave – it becomes a fast and continuous breeding place for germs.

Warm, moist, rich in organic nutrients – rinsing food away doesn’t get rid of the microscopic fragments germs feed on – they grow and multiply with every wash, transferring onto everything they touch.

The water you’re using doesn’t help either.

You put the plug in, and the water, squeeze some liquid – and think you’re handling it.

Germ soup

Uh huh. Putting all your crockery and cutlery through the same germ bath, more like.

Unless you wash under running water, which is wasteful – and doesn’t give the detergent opportunity to act.

Rinsing doesn’t help much either. That stream of water is hardly strong enough to prise the germs off. Even if the water’s hot. Because hot enough to kill gems would be hotter than your hands could stand. And anyway, at microscopic level there’s plenty of rough surfaces to hang onto.

Then there’s wiping up afterwards.

Another nightmare.

It might feel right, but that dish towel also transfers germs evenly over everything you wash. And though your dishes look clean, the average germ can probably last on there for up to a week or more.

Norovirus, campylobacter, salmonella, e. coli. Any one of them enough to make you feel very ill – or even put you in hospital.

Far from saving time and water – or being as hygienic as you hoped

Dishwasher efficiency

And all avoidable if you use the dishwasher.

For a start, the water is super-hot to soften food scraps, so the sprayers can blast them away. Way more efficient than that yucky scourer.

The water is constantly changed too – with several rinses and washes. That soup of germs never gets a chance to develop.

There’s less water involved as well. It needs several gallons to fill a kitchen sink – around 6,000 gallons a year on average. But you look – a dishwasher cycles water out of that small tray at the bottom, there’s very little wastage.

Oh, and drying?

Everything sits and air dries – no contamination with that germ-spreading dish cloth. What could be easier?

The germ-go-round

But it’s not just hand washing dishes that spreads germs around. It’s other cleaning chores too.

Because we’re used to scrubbing stuff away, we think that visually clean is often good enough. It looks OK, therefore it is.

If we get worried, we might bung in a disinfectant – but even then, our procedure is still the same. We wipe and scrub until we think it looks right – and that’s it.

But disinfectants can only work if they have enough contact time – and if they’re concentrated enough to do the necessary. Viruses and bacteria are hardened survivors – a quick wipe and a rinse is seldom enough. (Tweet this) And who can live with the sharp lung-piercing smell of ammonia or bleach?

OK, so we have a go at all the surfaces we can think of – worktops, tables, counters, the floor. And again, we reckon that’s it.

Only half the job though, if you think about it. Especially if it’s a food-prep area.

What about under things, or behind them, or stuff that dribbles down where it shouldn’t?

What about the walls or the ceiling? When were they last cleaned? And don’t forget, hot air rises. What sort of gunk could be up there from months of cooking or other activities, waiting to infect something?

Come to think of it, what about the air itself – often 80% of the room space or more?

If it was laden with dust, you’d see it at once – but germs are so small they’re invisible. And they’re there alright, floating around in their billions. We know all about them too – the sore throat and more that happens when we breathe some of them in.

Machine sterilising

Yup, you’re right. Like washing up, hand cleaning doesn’t get rid of germs either. But can you imagine the drama some kind of room washing machine might create?

Which is why there’s a Hypersteriliser.  A wheelie-bin sized machine that sterilises rooms with an ultra-fine mist of hydrogen peroxide gas plasma – ionised so it reaches everywhere by static electric charge – destroying all viruses and bacteria in around 40 minutes.

That easy, and that simple. Which means it’s probably time for coffee.

And anyway, who the heck wants to live in a sewer?

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 29 September 2018 @ 11:09 am

Originally posted on 29 September 2018 @ 11:09 am

Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease strikes again

Hazmat researcher
It could make you hurl, or it could kill you – not worth the risk of not washing your hands

Another cruise ship?

A holiday Boeing crammed with used air-sick bags?

Unkindest of all, this time it’s the Royal Navy – 70 of our finest youngsters struck down with norovirus at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall. Been going for ten days too, difficult to get rid off.

Which means it’s serious. Because when the Navy deal with medical issues, they do it properly. Isolate the victims, blitz their quarters with disinfectant, restrict all contact.

The Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease

But that’s norovirus for you. Or the vomiting winter bug, whatever you want to call it.

More accurately, the Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease.

Because that’s the biggest cause. And the surest way it spreads. From unwashed hands.

Highly contagious and at home on the perfect environment of our slightly moist hands at a pleasant 37 degrees Celsius – a guaranteed outbreak every time, simply because our personal hygiene is dangerously slapdash.

Oh yes, it is.

A staggering percentage of us NEVER wash our hands after going to the loo. 68% of men, 40% of women.

Even more shocking, NINETY-FIVE PERCENT of us don’t wash our hands properly. A six second rinse under the tap and we reckon we’re done.

Actually worse than useless.

Because though we let germs thrive on our hands by not washing them, WET hands amplify the risk. And there’s nothing like a pair of warm, wet hands for germs to increase and multiply.

Self-destruct reflex?

What’s wrong with us,? Do we have a death wish?

It’s not just that we don’t wash our hands. We then go right ahead and use those same hands to eat with. Transferring the germs onto our food – and then deliberately ingesting it.

Not just norovirus either. It could be whatever our hands have come in contact with. Salmonella, campylobacter, c. difficile, e. coli – any one of which could kill us for our carelessness. Including of course, our latest top of the pops, Covid-19.

Or if not kill, be very unpleasant. A nasty 6 hours in the barf-room, cramps like you can’t believe, the never-ending runs, and headache from dehydration. Two or three days of the end of the world with your bum on fire all the time.

And we actually WANT this?

We already half-know that norovirus is behind around 50% of all tummy bugs – and we still don’t wash our hands.

We’re even in denial – a lot of the time blaming the cause of our sudden sickness on something else. Exactly why we call it the Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease.

Everyday risk-takers

Take any visit to a restaurant – posh nosh or fast food, it makes no difference.

Just to stay open any of those places has to satisfy pretty strict hygiene laws. They get inspected too. Anything wrong and the place gets shut down.

Which means that in most food places, all of the professionals running it are unlikely to take chances. The kitchen will be meticulously clean and the staff will wash their hands regularly. So will the serving staff, with the maître d’ watching them like a hawk.

Quite possibly the place is sterilised every night too – with one of those Hypersteriliser jobbies. Every day when they open for business, it’s totally germ-free. No viruses, no bacteria, nothing.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

It’s the diners who don’t wash their hands. The eaters.

Straight in off the street and sitting down at the table with never a thought of hygiene.

With hands that maybe haven’t been washed for hours. Strap-hanging in the tube, pawing escalator hand-rails, in and out of the loo, shaking hands with others doing exactly the same thing.

Which means it isn’t necessarily the pâté de foie gras that’s off. It’s the germs from the breadstick clutched by the grubby paw of the big deal who rocked up by taxi and demanded the table with the best view.

Self-infected – with Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease. How stupid is that? (Tweet this)

The blame game

And then of course, it’s bad-mouthing the restaurant which had nothing to do with it. One accusing finger pointing – and another three pointing back.

But it could be any of us. Because when was the last time you washed your hands in a restaurant before eating? And in a fast food joint?

No, it’s not a joke. In fact chowing down a take-away burger is even more of a risk, because what else are you touching while you do it?

Over-reacting? Don’t count on it.

These days if you come down with anything serious, they’ll bung you on antibiotics.

Only, in case you haven’t heard, the Docs are getting shy of doing that because the bugs have developed resistance – they don’t work any more.

Back to the Dark Ages before antibiotics were invented. All you need is for your norovirus to develop complications, and you’re on a one-way ticket to oblivion.

Life and death

Not worth it for a little soap and water, hey?

Or some of that disinfecting gel, if you can’t get to a bathroom.

Nobody’s going to laugh if you sit at the table and treat your hands. And it works better than those hot towels the posh places offer – safer too.

Your choice.

It might seem like nothing, but it’s actually life and death.

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 28 September 2018 @ 10:48 am

Originally posted on 28 September 2018 @ 10:48 am

Size does matter – how ANY germ can zap you

Doctor arms folded
Our biggest threats are smaller than we can imagine

Germs are everywhere, right?

In the earth, in water, the air we breathe, on surfaces, in stuff we eat – everywhere to the limits of the biosphere, up to 30,000 feet and beyond.

Inside our bodies too – good germs and bad germs. All in balance, as long as we’re careful.

Or as long as we don’t pick up a bug from outside. A bacteria, a virus – there’s plenty of pathogens out there to cause trouble.

Now here’s a thing.

It’s all in the air

Some germs we catch from breathing, some from food we eat, and some from contact with other people who have an infection.

But all of the time, all of these germs spread by being airborne.

Now before the whole of the BMA comes down on us like a ton of bricks for that statement, let’s offer some supporting evidence.

Cast your mind back to the second week of April, and chances are it was all over your car. It even triggered a widespread health warning from both the Met Office and Defra.

Red dust from the Sahara Desert. Carried here by storms from 2,000 miles away. A yucky mess and a run to the car wash. And exactly why all germs spread by being airborne.

It’s easy to see why. The grain size of a typical sand particle from the Sahara is about 0.06 to 0.5 mm. No problem to the average desert wind at 25 mph – and a total breeze for a sandstorm.

Can’t see us for dust

Uh huh.

0.06 to 0.5 mm. 2,000 miles.

Now if you will, to your microscopes please.

Because 0.5 mm in the world of viruses and bacteria is a monstrous giant – 500 microns.

A human hair by comparison might be only 60 microns – and a Covid-19 virus particle over 1,000 times smaller at 0.1 microns, twenty times the size of our winter vomiting favourite, norovirus – which coincidentally in the early stages, presents similar symptoms.

Oops!

It’s worth remembering that the benchmark efficiency measure for the HEPA filters used in the air supply to hospital operating theatres is 0.3 microns.

Which means if Ebola or norovirus cells were floating around, there’s nothing there to stop them getting through.

Aha, right! Neither of these two is airborne in transmission – infection is by direct contact. No immediate problem.

But spread from one place to another? Airborne always!

Smaller travels further

Because if Sahara dust can travel 2,000 miles and get dumped on your car, what about germs that are less than 2% smaller?

Which means, if the winds blow in the right direction, that Ebola could already be here. Floating around, waiting for an opportunity. Norovirus certainly is.

And you’ve seen yourself how fine dust floats even in still air, seemingly unaffected by gravity. At 1,000 times smaller, germs like norovirus or Ebola might never settle – the air around them is too dense for gravity to work.

OK, so here comes a human body, pushing through the air, walking down the street. Whatever germs there are, catch and stick like always – on skin, clothing everywhere.

Single germ cells on the skin’s acid mantle, not a problem. Our immune systems are too rugged, too smart.

Catching germs

But winds blow and air wafts – people, cars and animals pass through it, heating systems vent into it. Those germs don’t stay in one place, they move around – fetch up on other surfaces – walls, doors, through windows, wherever.

And a human hand, wiping across one of these in a grab for a door handle, might scrape 10 or 20 together in a ridge that stays sticking to a finger. Next thing, like we always do 2,000 – 3,000 times a day, that finger wipes an eye, wiggling round to remove street dust.

So what’s the prognosis, Doc?

Infection alert

20 Ebola germ cells clumped together on the moist tissue round the eye – will there be an infection or not? (Tweet this) And if there is, can you imagine the hoo-hah about how it happened?

You can’t see germs. You can’t take chances either. Which is exactly why hospitals are starting to use the Hypersteriliser.

Because the Hypersteriliser’s super-fine mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide takes out ALL viruses and bacteria to a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6. Hydroxyl radicals, reactive oxygen species – and even ozone – rip them apart by oxidising them. No Ebola, no norovirus, no nothing.

Uh huh, again. An awkward fact of life that even applies to germs.

That size DOESN’T matter – when you’re dead.

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 28 September 2018 @ 10:28 am

Originally posted on 28 September 2018 @ 10:28 am