Millions of people use the subway every day to commute to work, or use it for private purposes. One thing can hardly ever be avoided: Contact with surfaces or objects. Whether it’s holding on to the handle while driving, or pulling the ticket at the ticket machine, with every touch we run the risk of picking up pathogenic bacteria and viruses.
This also applies to other public areas, such as airports, buses or shopping centres.
The fact that we come into contact with microorganisms many times a day does not in itself pose a health risk. We are constantly surrounded by many bacteria. It is important to understand that not all bacteria is dangerous to humans. In many cases it is important for healthy skin.
Avoid touching your face to prevent infection
However, the health risk increases enormously in the cold winter months, as flu and cold viruses are transmitted in the same way and under favourable conditions.
Stefanie Kampmeier, a specialist in hygiene and environmental medicine at Münster University Hospital, advises to wash and disinfect hands thoroughly after contact with such areas. It is particularly important not to wipe your face with your hands.
Many bacteria with antibiotic resistance detectable
An analysis of the Hong Kong Metro shows that the germ groups mix during the day. The analysis of bacteria that had resistant genes against antibiotics (ARG) was conspicuous. “In the morning we found ARGs in only a few lines, in the evening we could detect them in all,” says Panagiotou. “The sampling time (morning as opposed to afternoon) was the most important factor for the composition and diversity of the community,” write the researchers.
Working together for a healthier world
Good availability of hand hygiene products in the immediate vicinity of “pathogen hotspots” is an important prerequisite for disease prevention. Regular information and education about possible risks is extremely important for sustainable infection prevention.
This action is directly reflected in our corporate mission: