The 11 Public Spots with the Most Germs...Ewww!!

The vast majority of cold and flu cases are passed from person to person. Here are some of the top spots where germs are shared:

1. Handrails

2. Elevator buttons

3. Grocery cart handles

4. Restaurant menus

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5. Money from a cash register

6. Light switches

7. Salt and pepper shakers in restaurants

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8. Salad bars

9. ATM machines

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10. Exercise equipment

11. Water fountain handles

Makes you nervous, doesn't it? Relax. It takes just a little common sense and attention to protect yourself from public germs. Here are ways to keep germs at bay:

Handwashing. Always wash your hands before cooking, eating, or inserting your contact lenses. Wash your hands after cooking, using the toilet, petting an animal, handling garbage, blowing your nose, or coughing or sneezing into your hand. It doesn't matter if you wash with regular or antibacterial soap as long as you do a thorough job.

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Use hand sanitizer. Alcohol-based sanitizers that require no water are among the greatest health inventions of recent times. They're efficient at killing germs, whenever and wherever you encounter them, without the need of water or towels.

Keep hands away from your face. No matter how many times you wash them, if you are in public, your hands will pick up germs. Germs will quickly enter your body if you rub your eyes or nose, stroke your chin, or touch your lips.

Avoid the communal candy bowl or cookie jar. Given that only 67 percent of people who say they wash their hands actually do, and that only a third of those people use soap, you can imagine what's lurking in there.