Here are the answers to a few queasy-making germ questions. This comes from Condé Nast Publications, and Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, also known as “Dr. Germ”:
- If you take a sip of someone else’s wine, does the alcohol kill the germs? No. In fact, the glass is more likely to transmit germs than the liquid inside it. If you want to avoid germs, don’t share anything that someone else’s mouth has touched. Of course, if the glass belongs to your spouse – someone you kiss every day - drinking out of it won’t increase your risk of getting sick.
- Can getting a slobbery kiss from your dog make you sick? The answer is: Yes and no. A lot of diseases can’t be passed from your dog to you, but some can, like roundworm and salmonella. Still, veterinarians say you shouldn’t put your mouth against any part of your dog. Dogs bring germs in from outside and clean themselves with their tongue. So, their fur, mouths, and bedding – as well as their food and chew-treats – can contain traces of E. coli, salmonella, and feces. So, wash your hands after playing with Fido, rearranging his bed, or using the pooper scooper.
- If you’ve just gotten over a cold or flu, can you re-infect yourself? No. Your toothbrush may be teeming with germs, but you’ve already got those germs inside your body. Still you can infect anyone who uses your toothbrush, towel, lip balm, or shares your food. So, if you’ve been sick, kill the viruses and bacteria in your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen by wiping surfaces down with a bleach-water solution. The ratio is one-quarter cup of bleach to one gallon of cool water.