Where are germs most common? - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Where are germs most common?

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Get ready to look at your home and office in a whole new way.

We're uncovering the top spots where germs may be hiding.

Microbiologist, Dr. Charles Gerba takes a look at our homes and offices to find out where germs, especially the kind making you sick are hiding, including the bottom of women's purses.

"What we actually found was about a third of them contained fecal bacteria on the bottom of the purses," says Dr. Gerba.

Women often put their purses on the floor when they're out.

Then, where does the purse sometimes end up at home?

"Well, they put it on the countertop where they're going to make sandwiches for the family," says Dr. Gerba. "So they just picked up everything on the restroom floor and moved it to their kitchen countertop where they're going to make a meal."

But men aren't off the hook, there germiest spot Dr. Gerba found in an office.

"I think what it is, why the wallets get so germy, it's the heat," says Dr. Gerba. "Moisture stays in there. You're sitting on it all day, very close to body temperature which a lot of bacteria like to grow at."

And how bad is it when one of us goes to work sock?

Dr. Gerba's team tested that by putting a virus that cannot infect people on one person's hand, then they sent that person into an office.

"We found, within four hours, one person could contaminate 50% of the surfaces and the viruses showed up on 50% of the other's people's hand," says Dr. Gerba.

Many offices, malls and restaurants use non-refillable soap dispensers.

"You can get up to 10-million bacteria just in a few drops of liquid soap coming out of those dispensers," says Dr. Gerba. "You're putting more fecal bacteria on your hand than was in the toilet after you flushed it."

And how about one of the most popular spots in the office, the candy bowl?

"Some people don't always wash their hands after they go to the restroom," says Dr. Gerba. "And so every time they do that, they can leave inside the candy bowl. So candy bowls almost always get fecal bacteria in them over time."

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