Tag Archives: wash hands

How to give norovirus a great big NO!

Travel girl
Hooray for hand hygiene!
And a happy holiday

Not nice, norovirus. It stops you doing nice things too.

Holidays, celebrations, momentous occasions – the ultimate party pooper.

Trouble-free travel

So here’s a guide to help you avoid it. To side-step catching it in the first place, and protect yourself when other people around you come down with it.

You can be unlucky, of course. But nine times out of ten, these simple tips should help you stay out of trouble.

First off, know that norovirus is very, very virulent – an unpleasant illness on a hair trigger that is easily touched off. Other viruses and most bacteria need at least 20 or 30 cells to attack you with if they’re going to infect you.

Norovirus only needs half that, which makes it twice as dodgy. A nasty, horrible illness that’s super-contagious – spread mostly by touch, but also in the air. Get it on your fingers, your clothing or your skin and you have to be really careful.

It’s also pernicious, at home anywhere and able to survive on most surfaces  for over a month. And since it spreads so easily, anything touched by other people is a possible contact point – especially high-touch objects like door handles, grab rails, light switches, phones, keypads and cutlery you eat with.

How does it get into your body?

Usually through your mouth. You can breathe it in or swallow it, either on contaminated food or anything eaten with your fingers.

Which means everybody’s favourite fast foods – hot dogs, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, fish and chips, chicken drumsticks, wraps, crisps, biscuits, cake – all the easy fast foods.

Or if you’re on holiday – olives, pitta, humous, shawarmas, kebabs, falafel, Tex-Mex favourites like tacos, fajitas, tamales, burritos and tortillas – not to mention churros, pancakes, baklava or a good dripping cone of ice cream.

Yup, all the nice stuff when you’re having a nice time. Indulgent, spur-of-the-moment, soul-boosting street-food. Tasty, tactile, goodness oozing from your fingers – you know the score.

But note the common denominator – all finger food. Stuff you can scoff with your hands, right in the middle of doing something else. Or anything with a lot of handling by others around you – tear-and-share, buffets, smorgasbords, group curries.

All easily contaminated by just one person’s unclean fingers –including yours.

Finger-lickin’ good, maybe – fingers pointing at trouble more like.

Big tummy trouble.

Self-inflicted misery

And that’s the bummer.

Because most of the time we eat without thinking because our hands LOOK clean. Yet realistically our fingers could be loaded with all kinds of yuk too small to see – a single norovirus cell is just 2 microns across, about a 10,000th the width of a human hair.

It floats around easily in the air, lighter than cigarette smoke. And settles invisibly on your skin, scraping together easily with its brothers and sisters as you wipe your hand across – groups of 20, 500, 1,000 cells, all ready to go.

Which brings us to Reality Check One – most norovirus attacks are self-inflicted. The stuff is already on our skin and we don’t even know it. We let our hygiene lapse at the wrong moment – and four hours later it’s cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea like we don’t ever want to believe.

Yeah, OK.

Like the nagging granny in our heads keeps reminding us – WASH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS.

If only it was that easy.

Because when does anyone get the chance, on the go most of the time – especially on holiday?

But unfortunately, that’s not good enough if you want to skip the spoil-sport tummy-torture. All it needs is ONE slip up, one forgetful moment with unwashed paws, and you’ll be chundering through the next few days.

One in the eye

Uh huh. So here’s a memory jogger.

You’re on the beach, yeah? Slapping on the suntan lotion. You wipe your hands down, but somehow, you touch your face – and the stuff gets in your eye.

Yeow, itch, instant anguish. Your whole day scuppered till you get back to the hotel, rinse your eye out and sit there with a damp cloth to your face for an hour. But let that tell you something.

That’s how norovirus works.

It’s a fact of life that we touch our faces all the time – 2,000-3,000 times a day for some of us. And that’s norovirus’s easiest way into our bodies – through the soft tissue of our eyes and mouth.

Suntan lotion on your fingers just loses you a day. Norovirus on your fingers can screw your whole holiday – or your wedding, or your graduation, or anything else it’s the pits to lose out on.

Yeah, so you know the drill.

WASH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS. Particularly after going to the loo – and always before food.

From lo-giene to hygiene

Shocking revelation isn’t it, to sit down to this slap-up dinner after a wonderful day – and suddenly realise that with all the places you’ve been and things you’ve done, you haven’t washed your hands since breakfast?

So Reality Check Two – handling norovirus means hiking our personal hygiene to a whole different level. Day-to-day, what we’re living with most of the time is “low-giene”.

Yeah, yeah, dirty hands. But you see these reports all the time, lots of people all getting sick at the same – what about food poisoning? Don’t vendors and restaurants serve food that’s contaminated?

For sure. And we all know the cause. Either the food itself is off, or is touched in preparation by someone with dirty hands.

Not as common as you might think, because anywhere that sells food wants to be in business today AND tomorrow. They also have laws to follow, standards to observe,  codes of practice. So most of the time, they DO take care. A law suit could cost big money – and easily be the end of them.

So how can you tell if it’s self-inflicted or food poisoning?

Your fault or theirs?

Reality Check Three – the vomiting, the diarrhoea, they’re earth-shatteringly violent because that’s how norovirus spreads itself – as far and wide as possible, very quickly.

Even so, it takes time to assert itself – and from that, you can often tell how it started.

If an outbreak happens in ones and twos, it’s probably triggered by an individual – either from unwashed hands or by suspect food from an external source – something eaten before they arrived where you are. Unwashed hands most likely – suspect self-inflicted

If a whole crowd of people comes down together, that suggests they were exposed simultaneously – some kind of shared experience. That could be either from something they’ve eaten – they were all served the same dish at the same time. Unwashed hands most likely again – though this time in preparing a popular food dish – suspect staff hygiene lapse, or dodgy food source.

Norovirus also triggers by mishap, as happened in a Swiss hotel – bad luck for everyone in the place, who all came down with it at once. Flash flooding from a cloudburst overwhelmed the drains, forcing guests and staff to wade through water backed up from the toilets.

An outbreak was inevitable, however much everyone washed themselves and their clothes – furniture, fittings and all facilities were all heavily contaminated – instant infection until they were destroyed and the whole building sanitised.

Bad, bad boomerang

Which leads to Realty Check Four – the norovirus boomerang effect. The virus returns very easily to cause repeat outbreaks if it is not completely and utterly removed after the hit in the first place.

Cruise liners are really prone to this for two reasons. Lots of people close together in shared eating and living space, handling the same objects. Plus millions of nooks and crannies where the virus can hide during even the most rigorous scrub-downs.

The handling thing is a nightmare, as there are endless things that everybody touches that can pass on by contact. Called fomites, these germ-transfer items include glasses, knives and forks, deck chairs, gym equipment, poker chips, playing cards, courtesy bibles, whatever – all of which have to be individually sanitised to avoid repeats.

Repeat outbreaks happened recently with Fred Olsen Line’s Balmoral – struck down 6 times since 2009  – and a latest misfortune just last month that ruined an Old England to New England cruise for hundreds of passengers.

Holland America Line’s Caribbean cruise liner Amsterdam was also unlucky – having to cancel four trips in succession because of repeat outbreaks in 1982.   It got so bad, the ship had to be taken out of service to ensure thorough decontamination – and new passengers were even warned before embarking that the ship had previously had problems it couldn’t get rid of.

Get out of jail, free

Doom and gloom? Avoid holidays like the plague?

You can just as easily catch norovirus at home, just by forgetting to wash your hands.Hygiene tips

And that’s the key to a perfect holiday, even the stay-at-home kind. Always wash your hands before putting anything in your mouth. And keep your hands clean too. Your fingers might be safe, but the things you touch with them are almost certainly not – indoors or outdoors, germs are a reality we have to live with.

Recognising that, plan for when you can’t wash your hands too.

Always carry hand-wipes, even if they’re not antibacterial. Easy enough to use, right at the dinner table – and doing it properly will get rid norovirus and 99.9% of all other germs.

Handbag size antibacterial gel is good too – the alcohol base kills germs, though is not as effective as physically wiping them away.

Beyond that, be careful.

If somebody close to you comes down with norovirus, you don’t need to get it too. Obviously avoid accident areas of vomit or diarrhoea. Keep well clear, the yuk can spread several feet in all directions.

If you’re involved in a clean-up, wear gloves, cover your nose and mouth too. Wash all over thoroughly afterwards and discard your clothes for thorough washing too.

Clean beyond normal

Be aware though that normal disinfecting is unlikely to go far enough. The whole place needs a good going-over, especially every last nook and cranny if the virus is not to come back again.

Almost impossible with scrubbing and bleach, the easy way is with ionised hydrogen peroxide – misted up into the air by a Hypersteriliser and electrostatically charged so it disperses actively in all directions, killing airborne and surface germs deep into every crack and crevice.

All viruses and bacteria dead, no boomerang, no nothing.

Enjoy your holiday.

Picture Copyright: paffy / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-06-13 12:20:18.

Are you germ war terrorising yourself?

Girl with gun to head
Avoiding soap and water is suicide too – and just as effective

Frightening prospect, germ war. And it’s nearer than we think.

Right at our fingertips. Which puts us on the edge of suicide.

Deadly dangerous

Well we wouldn’t step in front of a bus, would we? Or a train. Or step into an open lift-shaft.

But that’s the chance we’re taking every time we forget to wash our hands.

To clean away the germs lurking there, just waiting to find ways to invade our body.

Not always our fault of course – unless we deliberately avoid it.

We use our hands for everything – touching, holding, carrying, smoothing, squeezing, grabbing, pushing, pulling – our physical contact with the world. And every single action involves germs – on every surface around us, in the air, already on our own skin.

Most of these germs are harmless. We have our own germs to protect us – bacteria outside and inside our bodies that keep harmful invaders away by crowding them out. Our own personal germ war.

But our bacteria can’t do everything – including fight the germs on our hands in concentrations greater than they can handle.

Endless numbers

A single germ cell can’t do very much. But ganged up with others they can invade very quickly. It only takes 10 cells of norovirus to trigger a miserable stomach upset – and 10 of these tiny microscopic cells are easily scraped together by our fingers moving over something.

Next thing we touch our face and a seriously unpleasant experience becomes inevitable.

Which means washing our hands – particularly before touching our face – is our most effective way of avoiding suicide. A germ war we can win.

We look both ways before crossing the road – soap and water does the same thing. We avoid being hit by a bus – and we avoid being hit by typhoid, both of them likely to be terminal experiences.

Yeah sure, we can take a chance – and cross the road anyway. But that’s the thing about suicide, you only have to do it once.

And it’s a dangerous world out there to take chances.

Medical disaster

You may have read recently that modern modern medicine is on the edge of collapse because our wonder-drug life-saving antibiotics are beginning not to work any more. Superbug bacteria are developing that are totally resistant, our miracle medicines do nothing.

Put that together with the rise of unexpected allergies and other disorders – and suddenly the road we’re trying to cross isn’t a quiet suburban street any more – it’s a high-speed 8-lane motorway.

Keep putting off washing your hands – and sooner or later you WILL get hit.

You might be lucky, a minor blow like norovirus or a common cold. Or you might be flattened by a pantechnicon – a small cut at first, that suddenly becomes the hulking eighteen-wheeler of sepsis – full on shut-down of the body as the immune system attacks itself, and the only way out is feet first.

So practice your kerb drill. Always wash your hands before eating food – and after going to the loo. Better still, never touch your face unless you know your hands are clean.Wash Hands Logo

Just because you can’t see germs doesn’t mean they’re no there. They certainly are – and a way more unpleasant at doing yourself in than jumping into the Thames. They take time, they hurt, they destroy the person that you are – until you pass away, a sorry shadow of suffering and misery.

So yeah, it’s a germ war. And yeah, it’s going on all the time.

Sure you can get unlucky. But when it’s so easy to be a smiling survivor, why put yourself at risk? Why wait for cholera, TB or pneumonia to come busting in with a gun to your head – and your whole world goes for a loop?

Rediscover hygiene, wash your hands thoroughly, keep yourself clean – and live to a ripe old age.

Yeah, win.

Originally posted 2016-05-13 14:02:21.

Safer from terrorists than germs on your own hands

Girl on escalator
No terrorists here – but just starting with the handrail, there’s billions and billions of germs

Look around the room you’re in. How many terrorists do you see?

None, right?

Not surprising, since only 3% of all deaths by terrorism have occurred in the West.

Which means less than that in the UK – averaged at five deaths a year according to a report.

Even less in the town you live in. And probably zero in your street.

Out of sight, out of mind

OK, now how many germs do you see?

Also none, right?

But they’re there, alright. Just too small to see .

A single cell of norovirus, everybody’s favourite cruise ship vomiting bug, is 3 microns across – a 5,000th the width of a human hair. A single cell of that other tummy bug regular, escherichia coli, is even smaller at 2 microns – the same as rhinovirus, the common cold bug.

And it only takes 10 norovirus cells, ganged up together, to infect you if they get in the right place. The kind of thing you do rubbing your skin – they scrape together, 5,000 could fit on a hair – next thing you touch your eyes or your mouth, and they’re in like Flynn.

Four hours later the cramps start – and the upchucks – and the runs. Worse than any terrorists, more like the end of the world.

And these germs are floating round you EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Everywhere you look

For instance, just by being in the room, you yourself are contributing 37 million germs an hour  – just from the cloud of them that we all carry around with us.

That doesn’t include the germs already in the room either – left behind on countertops and work surfaces, clinging to cleaning cloths and sponges, piled up on phone keypads and light switches, or just floating through the air on the tiniest breeze, waiting for you to breathe them in – lighter than dust, lighter than smoke, lighter even than oxygen particles.

Which means everything you touch, you pick up more – your hands are laden with them. And you don’t want to know what happens if you don’t wash them off when you go to the loo – most of us have such bad habits, we should be vomiting our guts out every day.

Horrible hygiene

Seriously. And here’s why.

Gruesome, huh?

But even washing our hands is not enough. Because there’s viruses and bacteria still coating everything around – still breezing along through the air.

Next thing you touch, next breath you take – and they’re at you again. And it’s luck of the draw if your immune system deals with them or not – guided by the 100 trillion or so NECESSARY bacteria that you have in your own gut.

Usually these bacteria gang up together and crowd those pesky interlopers out. But not if your system’s down – you’re stressed, you have a cold, or indigestion from eating too fast, or a headache pressing in from work piling up.

Sussing the odds

So what are your chances?

In any home there are around 8,000 different TYPES of germs hanging about – in numbers from thousands to millions. Which is how come, at any one time, that there are around 300,000 germs on EACH of your hands.

300,000 times more than the number of terrorists busting in through your bedroom window.

And make no error, some of these germs are deadly. Even norovirus, usually just a few days discomfort, hospitalises 3,000 and kills around 80 people each year – from complications with severe dehydration.

Flu bugs of course, can kill even more.

So can sepsis. Never heard of it? Get complications from a simple paper cut and your whole body goes into immune system meltdown. Annual death toll in the UK, around 44,000.

And germs can cause other complications like cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory or liver disorders – accounting for 150,000 deaths a year.

More dangerous than terrorists

All of which means you’re half a million times more likely to die from germs on your hands than from terrorists attacking you.

If that happens of course, there’s not much you can do. At the end of a gun, you’re basically stuck with whatever the terrorist asks for.

But germs you can fight back against – even take them out of existence altogether.

All it takes is the push of a button on a Hypersteriliser – and a fine, dry mist of hydrogen peroxide oxidises ALL virus and bacteria to nothing.  No chance of any infection, everywhere around you is sterile.

The cops have nothing like that to deal with terrorists. But at five deaths a year on average from terrorist acts, there’s more of us die from bee stings.

OK, so you’re safe enough – at least from terrorists.

Just make sure your hands are clean before you do anything.

Picture Copyright: william87 / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-05-06 13:20:49.

The awkward truth: why that horrible norovirus just keeps coming back

Scared woman
Unless you get serious, norovirus will always be back

Horrible, yes.

But totally avoidable.

Even though norovirus is about the most virulent bug there is.

Super contagious

It doesn’t have to happen in the first place – and it doesn’t have to happen AGAIN.

Because the real cause, pretty near always, is our own sloppy hygiene.

Even when it’s running riot – tens, or even hundreds of people down at a time – somebody somewhere didn’t clean something, and the germs found their target.

Mind you, this is not a bug to take chances with. It only takes 10 particles of norovirus to transfer from your skin to your mouth or the sensitive tissue round your eye and BING! You’re hit. Way more potent than the common cold of flu, which needs at least 25 particles – and even then, you have to be unlucky.

Not so, norovirus. Just the smallest contact is all it takes. A door handle, a keypad, a handful of change. Inevitable if you then eat something with your fingers – like a slice of pizza at a fairground.

Hit by our own sloppy hygiene

Easy-peasy fast food – easy-peasy infection. Because washing your hands when you’re having fun is not even on the radar, is it? And how many fairgrounds have proper places to wash your hands?

Or, come to that, how many of us remember to carry around antiseptic wipes or gel, to cover the certainty there’ll be no place to wash up? Or even if we do, to pull the stuff out and use it?

Who remembers washing hands AT ALL when you’re having fun? Or even thinks about the possibility you could run into trouble?

Which is how it happens – in a microsecond. The bug is in you and you don’t even know it.

And you won’t for the next four hours – maybe even longer. For some people, it can be next day.

But then, as all of us know, all hell breaks loose. The most unbearable cramps, violent vomiting, and totally uncontrollable diarrhoea.

Something you ate, for sure. It usually is. So you think back. You remember your last meal, whatever it was – and immediately think “food poisoning”. Something was off, the place was unclean, you’re going to sue them to pieces.

Never a thought about sloppy hygiene. Not the slightest recall that you never washed your hands before the time, or even most of the day. You’ve found your scapegoat, the place that served you last. Badmouth them to all your friends, write a rant on TripAdvisor, sue.

You wish.

One finger pointing, three fingers pointing back

Because 9 times out of 10, you’re down with poisoned food, not food poisoning. Food contaminated by the germs you ALREADY HAD on your fingers – from the handrail in the street outside, or the light switch by the door, or any one of a thousand other places.

Much more likely though, from residual poo on your hands last time you hit the loo. A yucky thought, yes – but it’s an awkward truth, most of us don’t bother to wash our hands after the loo. And even if we do, most of us never even do it properly.

Five seconds squishing under the tap – not washing at all, just spreading things around. And germs just love warm, damp skin on which to thrive and multiply. We are our own worst enemies.

Which means all those cramps, upchucks and rocket blasts in the toilet are our own doing. We brought them on ourselves and now we’re paying for it – spreading spew and splatter all over the place.

Norovirus efficiency

There’s a reason for that too. The exploding violence of spew and splatter.

That’s how norovirus spreads itself. Using your own body convulsions to propel itself far and wide, to infect as many other victims as possible. To spread and hide and lie in wait. To multiply and take over, ensuring re-infection is inevitable.

And very efficient with it too. Not even 3 microns across, this microscopic nasty is small enough to get through the HEPA or High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters in most aircraft, hospital and restaurant ventilation systems – riding the air, lighter than smoke or dust, easily spreading EVERYWHERE.

Which is why so many norovirus clean-ups always fail. They never plan for EVERYWHERE, so the virus boomerangs back.

Hello! Remember me? Enjoy the runs and upchucks last time? Here we go again!

The job wasn’t complete, so it has to be done again. And again. And again. Until either people get their act together, or the outbreak runs out of momentum.

In the meantime that highly contagious spreading misery bug is everywhere. The patches on the carpet, in the loo, on the curtains, on skin, on clothing, in hair, and spinning through the air. Spread as far and wide as violent upchucks and squitters can force them. In cracks and crevices, under and behind things. Lurking on every surface anybody touches – most of all, let’s say it again, spinning through the air.

Regular onceovers are never enough

Which means coming along with a mop and bucket full of Cif isn’t going to crack it. Nor even industrial strength Domestos. Because no way anybody is going to reach all those tiny nooks and crannies, or get into all the corners, or reach right up walls and ceilings into the light fittings, or round all the cables of the equipment in the corner.

Dead easy of course for a microscopic bug wafting on the breeze from the door, settling yards away from the nearest upchuck incident, ready to settle on the first raincoat as it’s pulled off, rucking up together with 90 of its mates as the person wipes her face, in to the body round the eye socket… Bingo!

And that’s even if our poor victim DOES wash her hands. Her fingers might be clean, but the bug is picked up from the things she touches. The norovirus secret, laughing at us.

Except we can laugh too.

Because there IS a way to take down norovirus, tenacious though it may be – even from the air around us, even from every tiny crack and crevice.

Total germ destruction

Fact: no germ comes back from treatment with airborne hydrogen peroxide. A few seconds contact and cells are ripped apart, DNA destroyed – all viruses and bacteria are gone.

And the machine that does it is a Hypersteriliser.

Press one button and it generates a fine, dry mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide – electrostatically charged so its molecules penetrate everywhere, repelled by each other and trying to escape from themselves. In doing so they force themselves through the air, hard up against work surfaces, countertops, floors, walls and ceilings, into cracks and crevices.

The lurking norovirus and other germs don’t stand a chance. With an opposite electrostatic charge of their own, the hydrogen peroxide particles are actively drawn to them like a magnet. Forty minutes to allow proper dispersal for the average room and the place is totally sterile.

No more norovirus, no more comebacks – job done.

Hope you start feeling better soon.

Picture Copyright: ostill / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-04-22 11:39:39.

Revealed: more dirt on the NHS crisis

Payoff
Throw money at the NHS all we like, the dirt will still be there

Over-crowding, check. Long waiting times, check. Not enough beds, check. Not enough doctors, check. Most of the dirty work has been done already.

Not by medics. By Westminster. Put a bunch of politicos together and they’ll screw up anything.

Disorganised chaos

Which is how come we have GPs only working 9 to 5 and not weekends – some damn fool renegotiated their contracts.

The same bunch of idiots also shut all the care homes – so the old folks had no place to go.

Oh yeah, and because they know more about medicine than anyone else in the universe, they instituted targets and 5 minute consultation slots, so most diagnoses are only thumb-suck and people go home worse than they started.

And twenty-four hour drinking – double and triple injuries, accidents and liver-related issues.

Oh, and of course, mindless immigration.

Welcome to our country, we have no facilities to support you, so you can live in a paper bag. What do you mean, your whole family is sick?

Nice one, hey? But they’re who we voted for and that’s the service we pay taxes on. We’ve lucked it on ourselves.

Our own fault

Actually, we really have. Because aside from these Westminster-driven overcrowding and logistical shortfalls, most NHS issues are driven by two things – dirt and antibiotics damage.

The dirt is all of us, because our personal  hygiene is so appalling. That’s the only word for it. The only reason we’re not permanently sick is the compensating level of sanitation organised around us. Safe water to drink, effective sewage, clean streets, regular rubbish removal. Take them away and we’d all be cholera cases.

Because pretty well most of us are dirty all the time – particularly our hands, which touch everything – the major source of infection transfer. Don’t believe it? The view in the mirror is not nice.

Take out accidents, because they can happen to anyone – and we’re left with a high proportion of people suffering ailments and illnesses brought on by their own lack of hygiene. In workplaces alone less than half of us have accidents, so the rest comes down to dirt.

Dirt, unclean hands and bodies, unchecked infection, inevitable illness.

If we washed our hands regularly – certainly before food and after the loo every time, we’d take more than 50% of cases away from GPs – more than 50% of cases away from A&E.

Amazing, huh? Half the NHS budget in an instant. Soap and water beats billions of pounds of salaries and investment.

And for the real dirt

Which leaves antibiotics damage.

Not so easy, this one.

We think of antibiotics as amazing rescue medicines – and yes they are, in an emergency.

Trouble is, they work by killing bacteria – which is fine as long as they only kill the “bad guy” bacteria making us ill. Unfortunately, they kill a lot wider than that – which destroys or damages a lot of the vitally necessary “good guy” bacteria we each of us have living in our own gut – to handle digestion, manage our immune systems, and a thousand other essential functions.

And the bad news is, we’re exposed to antibiotics all the time – not from medicine, but from food. They’re the farmer’s miracle growth promoter – shovelled into feedstuffs for every meal, accelerating development of livestock and plant crops four and five times bigger and faster.

We eat plants and animals, we swallow the antibiotics too – so we get bigger, faster as well. Which is why two thirds of us are now overweight or obese – and a third of our children too – at a cost to the NHS of £73 billion a year.  Ripe candidates for type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Plus all the other glitches to our immune systems. Like allergies we never used to have – asthma, rhinitis, food intolerance, dermatitis, eczema, hay fever, dust, mould, nuts, coeliac disease – the list is endless.

And all the while, our immune systems become less and less resilient, more prone to the slightest infection. More at risk from the billions and billions of viruses and bacteria that surround us every second of every day. Microscopic organisms, invisible but deadly,  nano-dirt in the air and on every surface around us.

Plenty more cases to send to A&E. Long-term illnesses with slow debilitation. At the rate we’re going, ALL of us could wind up in hospital – and the NHS would sink without trace.

How we’ll survive

OK, so we can wash our hands, that’s Defence One.

Defence Two is to sterilise our surroundings, keeping them safe as our resistance diminishes. Not the great outdoors of course, that’s impossible. But we can protect our enclosed living spaces, homes, schools, workplaces, hotels, restaurants, even planes and trains and ships.

All it takes is a regular mist-up of safe and eco-friendly ionised hydrogen peroxide. A dry spray that reaches deep into cracks and crevices, behind and under objects, hard up against walls and ceilings, and of course across every inch of flat surface. Forty minutes and all viruses and bacteria are destroyed. No germs, anywhere.

Waiting for Westminster – again

Now it’s up to the politicos to get antibiotics out of our food chain – to get them under control with proper protective legislation, to stop the health-sapping drift to obesity that all of us have, and will continue to have, until the drugs are out of our diet.

And that’s really the dirt. Because so many of us are already sick or sickening needlessly from Westminster’s negligence. Take away the health threat and the NHS stands a fighting chance of being the service it ought to be.

Oh yeah, as long as we don’t forget to wash our hands all the time as well – the other main cause of illnesses everywhere. It’s a personal responsibility none of us can step away from.

Picture Copyright: nito500 / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-04-19 16:03:09.

Don’t slag off Dyson’s Airblade, slag the germs off your hands first

Girl showing off hands
If your hands are washed clean, there’s no germs to dry off anyway

Brilliant piece of kit, Dyson’s Airblade hand dryer. First time you see it, you think  wow amazing.  The same when you use it.

Which kinda has us jumping up and down when we see a bunch of technology wonks have published research to say it spreads germs 1,300 more than paper towels.

A good idea world-wide

For starters, if it was that rotten, the giant Mitsubishi Electric Corporation wouldn’t have rushed out their own high speed Jet Towel, would they? A good idea is a good idea – and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And don’t knock it because it’s Japanese, they turn good ideas into the best in the world.

But right now it’s Dyson that’s taking the flak – our own world-leading brilliant technology company. And frankly in our view, these Westminster University researchers  claiming the AIrBlade spreads germs aren’t doing any of us a favour.

First off, the machine is a hand DRYER, right? The whole premise of its design is that hands might be wet, but they have already been cleaned. THERE ARE NO GERMS TO BE BLOWN OFF.

Unclean, unclean

So if the Westminster Uni  people found the thing spread germs, their hands must have pretty dodgy in the first place to have spread so many.

Yeah, well. Why are we not surprised? If they were basing their research on the typical behaviour of real people – which they should have – their hands were laden with all kinds of gunk. Here’s why.

Uh huh. The germs got spread because the hands weren’t clean.

End of.

Sure, lots of tiny drops of water would have spread around the place. The thing is basically a fan, for goodness sake – that’s what fans do. And Dyson’s jobbie blasts air at 430 mph – you don’t send a boy to do a man’s job.

Drops of CLEAN water – the hands were supposed to be properly washed first, remember? And Dyson’s dryer only blasts clean air because it’s sucked in through a HEPA filter before it gets to your hands anyway.

Which means microorganisms down to only 3 microns across don’t come anywhere near you – one heck of a lot better than paper towels.

Paper towels anyway are really compensating for poor hygiene in a non-touchless environment.

Touchless hygiene

If a washroom has Dysons installed, it probably has no-touch infra red taps too – and soap dispensers. The only contact is hand-to-hand scrubbing and rinsing – which done properly should ensure all the germs go down the plughole.

Most people are incredibly wasteful of paper towels anyway.

As Joe Smith points out in his superb hand washing video, in America 13 billion pounds of paper towels (5,9 million tonnes) are used every year, just to dry hands.  571,231,000 pounds of that (259,106 tonnes) is wasted by people fumbling around, not thinking what they’re doing.

Why all this hoo-hah about washing hands?

Because in our Twenty-First Century always-on-the-go, digital world, clean hands are often all that’s between us and coming down with any number of bugs like norovirus, escherichia coli, salmonella, clostridium difficile, campylobacter, MRSA, or simply colds and flu.

Finger food, fast infection

Look no further than our favourite choice of food. Burgers, chicken drumsticks, hot dogs, pizza, sandwiches, wraps, tamales, tortillas – all eaten with fingers. Now ask yourself honestly, when was the last time you washed your hands before you ate? Not really on the radar when you’re out and about, is it?

OK, so now wash your hands – the way you’re supposed to, with enough time to sing Happy Birthday to yourself twice. And now dry them off with the Dyson. No worries, right?

Hey, hey, hey! 430 mph of clean air. Now you’re really cooking with gas!

Originally posted 2016-04-15 13:07:50.

The drugs don’t work – so keep germs away, or die

Medical researcher
The miracle’s not happening any more – antibiotics are starting to kill us

You read that right, the drugs don’t work.

And you’d better believe it, because it’s coming true.

The Verve sang about it on their album Urban Hymns.

Slightly more scary, there’s a book about it as well – by no less a person than Dr Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer of England,  somebody who ought to know.

Take a pill, it does nothing. That’s where we’re going.

Everything’s a risk

Which means a sore throat could kill you – so could a paper cut.

Even worse, we could be dying already – FROM PILLS WE’VE ALREADY TAKEN. Antibiotics we had years ago as a kid – a miracle cure back then, but slowly killing us now.

And even if we didn’t take them, they’re still working away at our innards, gulped down unconsciously with every mouthful of food we eat. Every day a little more, drip, drip, drip. Because – surprise, surprise – there’s antibiotics in all our food.

What the hell’s going on?

Two things, neither of them good.

Antibiotic resistance

The one Dame Sally is worried about is antibiotic resistance. Because of massive over-use, all kinds of harmful bacteria have evolved that are immune to antibiotics. They’ve mutated and mutated so that whatever illness they cause is unstoppable. If our bodies aren’t strong enough to resist, we’ll die.The drugs don't work

And it’s not just illness. Every routine surgical procedure relies on antibiotics to prevent infection. Heart surgery, hip replacement, gastric bypass – all of them are impossible without infection control. Medicine is on the brink of returning to the Dark Ages.

Antibiotic contamination

The other thing is long-term. We ingest small doses of antibiotics with everything we eat – residual traces of growth boosters used by farmers to fatten up livestock quicker and plant crops yield more strongly.

You read that right too. Growth boosters. Added to animal feed and plant fertiliser in industrial quantities. Super-charging the manure that’s used for everything from grazing grass, to vegetable crops, to grain production – you name it.

How can you tell?

Look around and ask yourself, aren’t more of us overweight than we ever used to be? And not just a little portly round the middle either – but seriously bulging everywhere, at all stages of obesity.

Antibiotics did that – just like they did for the cows and chickens and pigs they were fed to. They got fat, so we get fat too. Fatter and fatter and fatter as the residual doses collectively mount up. Seriously obese.

Which means we’re seriously at risk of what obesity triggers – type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, asthma – all kinds of slow, debilitating ailments that will eventually kill us. Caused by the very same miracle drugs we thought were life savers.

Keep healthy, or else

All of a sudden, our health and everything concerned with protecting it, have become a major issue – like driving on bald tyres. Everything is OK as long as nothing happens. But if it does, we’re going to crash Big Time.

Luckily, we do have defences.

No 1 – wash our hands at every opportunity. Germs surround us and are on everything we touch – so unless we keep them clean, our hands are constantly transferring viruses and bacteria to our mouth, eyes and nose, the easiest doorways for infection to get in.

No 2 – eliminate germs around us. We all carry germs with us and our living spaces are full of them. But they don’t have to be. Mopping and scrubbing gets rid of only a few – we need to be sure of the cracks and crevices. Plus we need to treat the air – probably 80% of any room space that is never usually touched.

Easy with a Hypersteriliser though. That fine mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide destroys all viruses and bacteria by oxidising them to pieces. Forty minutes and the place is sterile – safe from germs down to less than 1 air particle in a million.

No 3 – be watchful. How many times do we cut ourselves because we’re not paying attention? If accidents don’t happen, germs don’t get a look in.

No 4 – go organic. Stop eating mass-produced foods that have antibiotics in them. Not easy at first, you have to find a reliable source. Certainly if you grow your own and eat ocean fresh fish – not the farmed jobs – you’re off to a good start.

Yeah, the drugs don’t work. But if we’re watchful and we’re careful, most of the time we don’t need them. And hopefully we’re healthier and stronger, so if anything does happen, we can rise above it anyway.

Let the dying happen another day.

Picture Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-03-14 13:41:05.

Ew, poo! But what if it REVERSES getting fat?

NOt fat any more
Out of the poo – get your gut bacteria right – and get back the body you once had

We’re all different, right? Fat, thin – tall, short – dark, fair – happy, sad – no two of us alike.

Same with how we eat, how we exercise, how we sleep – all of us completely unique.

And with our tummies – always calm, made of cast-iron, upset at the slightest little twitch.

Go with your gut feel

Yeah well, not surprising really. Down in our gut, where most of our personal bacteria liveover a hundred trillion of them and counting – things are about as different as it’s possible to get.

As long as these amazing communities of microbes are in balance, we’re most of us OK, well-adjusted, slim, trim and agile – lots of get-up-and-go and enjoying an active life.

Trouble is, we’re not always in balance. Check out the two thirds of us who are visibly overweight – or with ongoing health problems that we never seem to shift. Those teeming bacteria in our gut are not happy with something or other – and it shows in the way our bodies respond.

Yeah sure, we can change some things – what we eat, how we eat, hit the gym, take pills. None of them really work, do they? Lots of hype and every now and then a minor celebrity makes headlines with a new-look bod. But all smoke and mirrors most of the time – until out of desperation, we try the next one.

Time to get real

Know that expression, “you are what you eat?”

More accurately, we are what our gut bacteria process us into. That’s their job – along with a zillion other things like produce proteins and regulate our immune systems. They call the shots and our bodies respond.

Which means we are what our gut bacteria tell us to eat.

And if they tell us all the time that we’re hungry – that we need to charge up as fast as we can with quick-acting, high energy power foods – that’s what we do. And if they don’t stop telling us, we don’t stop responding. They say emergency, we respond with gorging on burgers and Coke – deliberately loading super-octane fuel like there’s no tomorrow.

But there is no emergency, is there?

Somewhere, something is out of balance – and we pay the price with bodies that are fat and flabby with no energy. Lethargic and listless – because our gut tells not only to cram in the most concentrated power foods we can find, but to cut back on all exercise, conserve energy, save our resources for some impending high-effort threat that never seems to materialise.

It’s like out gut is telling us we’re out in the freezing Arctic wastes – and we each have to pull ten times our own body weight non-stop for a thousand miles in the teeth of a raging blizzard. Exactly the kind of challenge that would need to stoke up on burgers and Coke – for quick-fix power – when actually all we need to do is stroll fifty yards to the bus stop.

Leptin resistance

So what’s up? Why are our bodies having such trouble?HealthAmbition Link

Listen up good. We’re not fat because we have no will power – our appetite is controlled by our gut bacteria anyway, not our brains. We’re fat because of leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone our bacteria make to shut off our hunger cravings. But something has screwed our gut bacteria so they don’t react to it. The appetite signal remains at full throttle – and the brain says eat, eat, eat – c’mon, get with the programme.

What’s wrong is a whole lot of things, being fat is just one of the signs. Somehow our gut bacteria are not as diverse as they should be – and there aren’t enough of them. Some of our more specialist types – usually it’s the rare ones that affect balance most – just aren’t there.

Medics can check all this by analysing our poo – and see at once that key bacteria are missing, or behaving erratically. By the same token, these “poologists” can also see when the poo of a healthy person is right – that everything is all as it should be – no fat, no flagging stamina, all hunky-dory.

Poo transplants

And here’s a thing. By doing a poo transplant – taking waste gut bacteria from a healthy person and introducing it into the gut of a leptin resistant one – poologists can actually cause the imbalance to reverse, building up missing numbers and starting new colonies of the rare specialist types. FMT it’s called – Faecal Microbiota Transplantation – which in the UK, can be done at the Taymount Clinic or the Somerset FMT Clinic.

It’s getting not to be as yuck as it sounds either. With the latest methods, all the prep work is done in the lab under very hygienic conditions, the necessary bacteria cleansed off and concentrated together in gelatin capsules.  Down the hatch with these tasteless, odourless pills and repopulation begins as soon as they hit the gut.

Alternatively, it can be done at home – though you’ll need to chose your donor well, to be sure of best results.

Either way, you’re doing something positive to correct your gut imbalance – particularly the leptin resistance that’s caused so many of us to balloon to unhealthy levels. Good luck with it, don’t forget everyone has a different metabolism, so results will vary from person to person.

Why we’re all lumps of lard

OK, so what causes our gut imbalance? We’re not all on steroids which certainly can make us bulk up very quickly, hamster face and all. So what is it that we’re all exposed to that makes EVERYONE put on weight? Even the slimmest of us are chubbier than we were five years ago.

You’re not going to like this.

It’s antibiotics – the same miracle life-saving drugs that have made modern medicine so amazing. Yes, in prescriptions for illness, which most of us have had – particularly children these days, which is why so many kids are fat. Administer antibiotics to toddlers before they’re two – and by five they’ll be visibly overweight.

But more than that, we get antibiotics in food – pretty well across the board in everything we eat. Why? Because antibiotics bulk up animals and boost plant growth – and farmers have been using them for more than fifty years.

According to official figures, around the world agriculture uses 65,000 tonnes a year, though governments are cagey about this, given the huge rise in antibiotic resistant superbugs in recent years.  More realistically, China, the world’s largest consumer, puts its own use at about half the world’s total – around 162,000 tonnes.

Remember your twice times? That means 324,000 TONNES A YEAR – enough for a hefty 450 mg dose to every man, woman and child on the entire planet.

And antibiotics do to us exactly what they do to animals – kill bacteria, like they’re designed to. Particularly put our systems out of balance and activate our hunger. So that we’re as ravenous as those factory-farm animals who are dosed every day. They bulk up at four times normal speed – and so do we.

Rescued by poo and hygiene

Ooh, er – so we’re all in the poo.

Well yes, but it could be poo that gets us out of it. Plus of course getting off antibiotics ASAP so we don’t get any fatter. Not easy unless you go organic, or like The Good Life, decide to grow your own.

But coming off antibiotics raises big problems too. No more miracle drugs – we’ve got to bump up our personal hygiene levels way higher to compensate for no more rescue drugs. Wash hands at every turn, keep everything around us meticulously clean.

And with our weakened metabolisms – drip-drip antibiotics in our food have damaged our gut bacteria so much over 50 years that our immune systems are no longer as resilient – we need to make sure our surroundings are as near-sterile as possible too.

Time for all of us to roll out the Hypersterilisers – to sterilise the rooms we live in free from all pathogenic viruses and bacteria. To get us out of the poo and keep us out.

Hoo boy! A crap subject to write about, but somebody’s got to do it.

Keep well, all of you.

Picture Copyright: akz / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-03-08 12:50:27.

Avoid norovirus or worse as flood waters drop

Rain girl
Just remember, germs are like raindrops but smaller – up in the air and all over the place until you get rid of them

Goodbye Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva and Frank.

You weren’t nice and we never liked you – good riddance.

Likewise storms yet to come – Gertrude, Henry, Imogen, Jake and Katie.

We know you’re coming, but don’t expect us to roll out the welcome mat. You and the rest of your Named Storms mob have done enough damage already.

The long road back

So now it’s the heartache and the clear up. Putting your life back together.

But be careful.

There’s sickness in that water – and sickness where it’s been.

Up to your ankles in the kitchen, even more in the street. With the over-run sewer system four feet below that. Which means there’s poo in that water, nothing about it is safe. And as the level goes down, that yuck is going to be everywhere.

Be safe, don’t touch it, or risk getting it on your skin. Norovirus could be lurking there – or even worse, cholera. For sure, there’s nothing healthy.

So whatever you do, wash your hands if it gets on them – or if you’ve touched anything lying in it. Norovirus spreads on contact – and it only takes a dab. You don’t want that misery on top of everything else. Cramps, runs, upchucks – no thank you.

Wash your hands properly too, this stuff is pernicious. Find yourself some hot water – as hot as you can stand – and give yourself a good going over. Soap and scrubbing brush. Under your nails and between your fingers. Like you’ve got plague on them and you can’t take chances – which if you think about it, is true.

Proper hygiene is everything

And which of course means your place will need the same treatment.

After days of immersion in poo, sweeping out the mud and hosing everything down is not going to be good enough – not even with a turbo-wash. It’ll be in the wallpaper and the plaster – in the concrete and even the bricks. Going to have to be brutal.

It’ll be UNDER the floorboards too – in the crawl space around the foundations. By the time you get to it, a kind of sludgy, gooey gunge. Norovirus in there – and all other kinds of nasties. Squirt it out if you can, possibly forcing it out through the air bricks. You don’t want the drama of ripping everything up to get rid of it.

Yes, it’s a health hazard, but if you can get rid of most of it, it’s possible to neutralise the rest with hydrogen peroxide or some other oxidising steriliser.

Misting up the under-floor gap with a Hypersteriliser is a good choice – any airborne germs will be clobbered immediately and the stuff is good at forcing itself into difficult nooks and crannies. Any viruses or bacteria it comes in contact with will be dead in around 40 minutes.

Likewise any mould. The hydrogen peroxide won’t physically get rid of it, but it will kill it dead – you can tell in two ways. It won’t be that horrible black any more, but a pale grey. And whatever smell there might be – if it’s anything organic – will have disappeared.

That hydrogen peroxide mist will work well in the rest of the house too – especially at getting rid of the smell. But remember it’s only a vapour – actually a super-vapour called a plasma, which is why it’s so effective. But it won’t physically clean or scrub, so any smells could come back when the stuff wears off after a week or so.

It pays to be thorough

To do the job properly, you’ve got to chuck away all the carpets, lino, wallpaper and plaster so you can scrub down with disinfectant right to the bare walls and floor. Your place won’t look pretty, but at least it will be safe. Mist it up again with hydrogen peroxide and chances are good any smell is gone permanently.

The no-smell thing is important, because that means any microbial action has been stopped – there are no more germs breeding in there to come and get you. If the smells come back it either means you missed a bit and the germs break through when the hydrogen peroxide wears off – or the place isn’t fully dry and mould is reforming. Another mist-up will give you a quick fix, but the real answer is to get down and dirty all over again – this time, with a more eagle eye.

Look after yourself while you do all this, because don’t forget you ARE exposing yourself to germs – and nasties like norovirus are airborne as well coating everything, so you could by mischance breathe some in. To be really safe, Public Health England have this excellent guide – useful and easy step-by-step stuff anyone can follow.

There, all done – and well done you. A real schlep, but you don’t want anyone coming down with anything serious on top of all the other setbacks.

Welcome back to the land of the living.

Originally posted 2016-01-07 16:22:45.

Quick! Wash your hands before you kill someone!

Dirty hands
When antibiotics don’t work – all that’s between you and killer germs

Alarmist?

Well something’s got to grab our attention. And fast.

Because maybe not today, but some time soon, what’s on our hands may well kill someone. And that person could easily be you.

The antibiotics debacle

Two reasons, both triggered by antibiotics.

One, they don’t work any more. Not all of them, but a heck of a lot – enough to terrify most senior doctors.

Wonder-drugs fifty years ago, today they could be sugar pills. High expectations, but zero performance – pretty well useless. Too much overuse worldwide and the bugs we use them against have become resistant.

Yes, overuse. Particularly by agriculture. Every year more than 65,000 tons of antibiotics are put into feedstuffs – to make beef, pork and poultry animals bulk up for market. And you thought they were just for medicines.

Superbugs

OK, so how about these superbugs they don’t work against any more?

Heard of MRSA? Well add pneumonia, c.difficile, TB, gonorrhoea and e.coli to the everyday list – with a whole stack more queueing behind. Any one of which can do you down without urgent and careful treatment.

So what’s that got to do with dirty hands?

Easy. Antibiotics are our Number One defence against infection.

Cut a dirty hand and it’s antibiotics that protect us from tetanus. Without a quick dose of tetanus immunoglobulin (actually a vaccine), expect convulsions and severe muscle spasms strong enough to fracture the spine – a very, very unpleasant way to die.

Bye bye surgery

That goes for any cut too, not just accidents. Like surgical incisions. Without antibiotics, any surgical procedure becomes just about impossible. Infection is inevitable and patients will die. And that goes for everything from hip replacements to triple bypasses.

Without the wonder-drugs, there’s only one other way to minimise infection with any certainty. By making sure everything is so totally clean, there aren’t any bugs on it. Yes, by washing hands.

And not just by doctors, but by every one of us. Whenever we think of it, over and over again.

Because now we can’t take risks any more. Take a chance, eat with dirty hands, have a stupid accident, face any physical challenge.

Bye bye hospital

WE’RE the first line of defence now, not the doctors. Our own personal hygiene, our own protective washing techniques. Which means staying the heck out of trouble of course, so nothing ever happens to us. Couch potatoes.

Because reality is that hospital will increasingly become the end of the line. No more antibiotics, no more last-ditch hope. Forgetting to wash your hands is a one-way ticket – feet first, to eternity.

And make no mistake, we really are in danger. Because the way most of us are so casual about hygiene, we don’t stand a snowball’s against a serious bug. We don’t wash hands properly, or for long enough. Or, let’s be honest, ever at all.

Now the second thing about antibiotics. The double-whammy waiting to clobber us.

More than fifty years we’ve been using them. 600,000 tons every year – symbolically, the same mass as one of the twin towers at the World Trade Centre that collapsed on 9/11. And potentially even more deadly.

Timid new world

You see, it’s not just bacteria that have changed and mutated over the years, becoming stronger and more resistant. It’s ourselves, probably gobbling down a course of antibiotics at least five times a year. Except we’re not getting stronger, we’re going backwards.

And it’s not just our medicines that contain antibiotics, it’s the food we guzzle as well. A steadily rising threshold of antibiotics in pretty well every kind of meat product – and vegetables as well, from recycled natural waste going into the ground.

More than fifty years of it, continuously every day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacking – is it any surprise we have weaknesses and deficiencies that didn’t exist a generation ago?

You see it’s an awkward fact of life that our own bodies NEED bacteria in order to survive. Millions and millions of years ago we went into partnership with them to do the heavy lifting for digesting food, producing protein and even stabilising our immune systems.

We, aliens

Bacteria colonies in our own bodies outnumber our own human cells by more than 10 to 1. We’re actually aliens. Which is why we have over 100 trillion bacteria naturally resident in our gut. Dropping an antibiotic in amongst that lot is about the same as releasing an atom bomb – killing bacteria left, right and centre, that’s how they work.

Which is why we often get side-effects like being ill all over again – vomiting, cramps, diarrhoea, or worse. And in one way or another, we’ve been continuously bombarding our systems with antibiotics all the way since birth.

Not good for our immune systems – especially in the formative years from one to three, when our bodies are learning which bacteria are good and which are bad – and how to fight against them. That’s what all the eating mud and stuff is about. Equipping ourselves with protection.

Except we don’t eat mud any more, do we? We don’t live out in the country, we’re probably in a tenth-floor walk up. There is no mud – and our mothers would find it repulsive anyway. Which means our bacteria either choreograph that bit out, or develop in different directions.

Mutant beings

Changes in our metabolism and we never even know that they exist.

Take allergies for instance. Twenty years ago nobody had ever heard of urticaria, or coeliac disease, or anaphylactic shock. Yes they existed, but not on the everyday radar. Common as muck now – the muck we didn’t have when we were babies.

Fifty years on and our diet has changed too. We eat different foods, with different values – and all the time the antibiotic level is creeping up higher and higher.

Uh huh. And our resistance is going downer and downer. Today our bodies have conditions nobody even considered before.

Think obesity is something to do with diet? Oh yes, it is – but we can’t change it now. Not seriously. How else could a third of us be so suddenly like that? We’ve bred it into ourselves. Our internal bacteria are a whole new breed that live with low exercise, artificial foods and a high level of antibiotics.

Try running it off at the gym all you like – we’re getting to where we’re so genetically altered, that fat is normal. Yeah, we shouldn’t pig out on the kilo box of Quality Street – but there’s min chance we’ll get to Size 12 without them either.

Lower resistance.

But the same daily challenge of living in a world surrounded by billions and billions of bacteria and viruses – many of them friendly, many of them neutral – and many of them downright deadly.

Wash them away whenever you think of it – sterilise the living area around you with hydrogen peroxide mist. Every day, the battle goes on – and we’re not necessarily winning.

OK, now it’s serious. Keep at it with the soap and water, or someone’s going to die.

Don’t let it be you.

Originally posted 2015-11-11 14:02:01.