DID YOU KNOW…

Children are always being told to wash their hands when they come in from outside. But it’s advice that adults should be following as well. A study has found that it takes just a few hours for viruses to spread from a single doorknob to up to 60 percent of surfaces in a building Researchers from the University of Arizona put a harmless, traceable virus on selected places – like a doorknob or pushplate- at the beginning of the day. After just two to four hours, the virus was detected on all of the most commonly touched surfaces in the building, such as light switches, coffee pots, phones and computers. Surprisingly, the most affected area wasn’t the bathroom but the break room. Yet this is not an unsolvable problem. When just half the workers used hand sanitizers or washed their hands after entering their building and cleaning wipes once a day at their desks, the number of contaminated surfaces fell almost 80 percent.

THE WEEK, September 26, 2014