How Germs Will Travel

Germs are lurking … everywhere. There’s no doubt about that. Not all of them are harmful, but many are, especially to our patients. But just how easily can these tiny pathogens spread from surface to surface or from person to person?

We did an experiment with GloGerm™ (a substance that helps you visualize the ordinarily invisible transmission of germs) to find out. Like the real thing, GloGerm is invisible to the naked eye. But under a blacklight, it glows. We applied GloGerm to a volunteer’s hands and tracked the trail of germs left behind her.

The result? The Germ appeared on keyboards, phones, doors and desks. It passed from one person to the next with a simple handshake. The second carrier spread it to notebooks, pens and an elevator button, and all of that happened in just a few minutes.

Glow-in-the-dark “germs” may be the stuff of fright fests, but we hope this video will demonstrate just how easy it is to spread harmful bacteria and viruses. Diligence is critical, especially right now with the seasonal flu and H1N1 virus appearing in our community. Make sure to wash your hands often, use cough and sneeze etiquette and get your flu vaccinations. To see our experiment, watch the video.

Video production by UVA Marketing Team

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