Following the SARS pandemic, Hong Kongers have become much more aware of hygiene at public places.  Elevators buttons in most buildings are sterilised regularly throughout the day and most offices are equipped with here are  hand sanitizer for staff to clean their hands.

But have you wondered which places are ridden with the most amount of bacteria in the office?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US estimated that up to 80% of all infections are spread by hand contact with contaminated surfaces and direct human contact.

So, most of the places people touch and come in contact with are likely harborers of germs.

Here is a countdown of the germiest place in the office according to the CDC.

1. Computer keyboards

The workplace keyboard can have more than 200 times as many bacteria as a toilet seat.  To begin with, it is often touched throughout the day, so wherever those fingers have been,  it’s likely the computer keyboard has been there too.

It is also the perfect surface for catching sneezes and all the times people cough while sitting at their desk, either into their hands or out in the open.

2. Telephones

Think of all the different people in a single day who are touching the phone with the hands while their putting their mouth near it as they speak.

It was estimated that there are 25,000 germs per square inch that can live on the workplace telephone.

3. Elevator buttons

Sterilising elevator buttons regularly in buildings or pressing the button with a key, instead of using a finger has become a common practice in Hong Kong after SARS.

Just think of all the fingers pushing on the button all day.

4. Water Fountain

It is estimated that there are 2.7 MILLION bacteria per square inch on public drinking fountains.

No surprise there; consider the amount of people who have possibly put their mouths on those fountains. You are much better off bringing your own water.

5. Bathrooms

Again, a no-brainer.

Flushing the toilet without the toilet seat down can literally spray particles up to 20 feet in the air.

In fact, bacteria in the bathroom is pretty much everywhere, so it is best not to touch anything with your hands. Use paper towels to turn off faucets after washing your hands and use one to open the door too.

Image: Shutterstock

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