The Microbe World

What are Microbes?             |              Where Do They Live?

Microbes are everywhere - a largely unseen world of living things that support life processes. "The Microbe World" provides a comprehensive directory of micro-organisms and their activities.
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Safety Quiz
Microbe Quiz

Safety with Microbes

In this section, you'll find out why washing our hands with soap and warm water is so important. You can even test your handwashing know-how with our Safety Quiz.

Millions of microbes are carried on our hands. Most are harmless, but we can pick up some that cause illnesses, such as colds, flu, and diarrhea.

When we forget to wash our hands, or don't wash them properly, we can spread these harmful microbes to other people, or give them to ourselves by touching our eyes, mouths, noses or cuts on our bodies.

We can also pick up these nasty microbes from objects, such as doorknobs and stair railings, touched by other people who donít wash their hands properly. Think about all the things we touch each day and how many infected people may have touched them before us.

Washing our hands with warm water and soap can greatly reduce the chances of spreading or getting disease-causing microbes. The physical action of scrubbing loosens up the microbes as well as the dirt on our hands and the soap picks them up and binds to them together so that the water can wash them away.

The straight talk is, to avoid being infected, our hands must be washed with soap and warm water before we:

  • Prepare or eat food
  • Treat a cut or wound Tend to someone who's sick
  • Put in or take out contact lenses
  • Do any kind of activity that involves putting your fingers in or near your mouth, eyes, etc.

And after we:

  • Go to the bathroom
  • Handle uncooked foods, especially raw meat
  • Eat
  • Blow your nose, cough or sneeze
  • Handle garbage
  • Tend to someone who's sick
  • Change a diaper
  • Play with or touch a pet, especially reptiles and exotic animals

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