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Expat wanderer

Cold Virus Hotspots

This is from BBC Health News:

Warning over cold virus hotspots

TV remote controls, bathroom taps and refrigerator doors are hotspots for the common cold virus, experts have warned.

Researchers at the University of Virginia swabbed these common household surfaces in 30 homes and found traces of rhinovirus 42% of the time.

While coughs and sneezes do spread the disease, everyday objects in the home are another important source and should be cleaner regularly, they say.

Each week in winter, a fifth of the UK population suffers from a cold.

As the virus can survive on household surfaces for up to two days, a single family member or visitor can spread the virus to other members through touching such things as door handles and taps, the researchers told a US infectious diseases conference.

Infectious rhinovirus was detected on almost a quarter of subjects’ fingertips one hour after touching household surfaces contaminated with the virus.

And genetic material from the virus was still transferred to the finger tips of more than half of the 30 people studied 48 hours after the surfaces were contaminated.

Lead researcher Dr Birgit Winther said the public needed to be aware of this route of transmission.
“Some people still spray the air with disinfectants, but rhinovirus doesn’t fly through the air. I think that the message from this research is that we need to focus more wisely on cleaning commonly touched surfaces in the home.”

Professor John Oxford, virologist at St Bartholemew’s and the Royal London Hospital and chair of the UK Hygiene Council, said: “The cold virus is a hardy one because it survives on surfaces for so long and can then be passed on, putting the whole family at risk of infection. Home hygiene is key in the fight against colds.

“Recent government recommendations mean that doctors can no longer prescribe antibiotics to alleviate colds – so it’s vital that families target these key surfaces in the home to protect themselves from colds this winter.”

October 31, 2008 - Posted by | Family Issues, Health Issues


  1. I thought you (for some reason) are going to discuss a computer virus that spreads around wifi hotspots… =P

    Comment by Q8GEEK | October 31, 2008 | Reply

  2. Q8GEEK: It’s predisposed geekiness!
    And thank you so much for your offer to help on the other post, but I’m too chicken and quite happy with WordPress 😳

    intlxpatr, I believe in a steady exposure to virusses and pathogens! It keeps your immune-system alert! I will not be scared by your post! 😉

    Comment by Aafke | October 31, 2008 | Reply

  3. LLOOLLL, Q8Geek. I guess what we think is framed by where we come from, hmmmm?

    Aafke, I kind of believe in that myself, that exposure when you are young, especially, helps you build a good strong immune system. There really is one thing that works against catching bad colds and that is frequent hand washing.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 1, 2008 | Reply

  4. Aafke:
    CHICKEN!!! MOOOOOOOOO!!! =P (I really do that everytime I hear the word “chicken”)


    alright, i’m high

    Comment by Q8GEEK | November 1, 2008 | Reply

  5. Q8Geek, you’re kidding, right?

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 1, 2008 | Reply

  6. well i’ve been having chocolate for the whole day… you do the math

    Comment by Q8GEEK | November 1, 2008 | Reply

  7. You’re a girl? You’re PMS-ing? (LLLLOOOLLLLL!)

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 2, 2008 | Reply

  8. i’m awkward enough for a guy… this world can barely bear with me

    Comment by Q8GEEK | November 2, 2008 | Reply

  9. Q8Geek, you are obviously very bright. Hang in there, it gets better. Trust me.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 2, 2008 | Reply

  10. Hmmm, at least you eat the right stuff!

    Comment by Aafke | November 2, 2008 | Reply

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