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5 Interesting Germ Facts

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Germs are everywhere and just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they are not super interesting! Check out these facts on germs!

Disclosure: I am partnering with Bradley Corporation. All opinions are my own.

5 Interesting Facts on Germs

5 Interesting Germ Facts

Germs can be anything that is pathogenic, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. Often leading to disease of their host organism, these microscopic germs are fascinating. Ready to learn more? Check out these 5 interesting facts on germs.

gloved hand holding petri dish with bacteria

Fact 1: They are REALLY old

Bacteria are some of the oldest organisms on Earth, appearing 3.5 billion years ago. Viruses and Protozoa appeared about 1.5 billion years ago and by comparison, humans appeared only 300,000 years ago.

Fact 2: They Outnumber Us Dramatically

We only have estimates on the actual amount of germs on Earth, but numbers are in the trillions in terms of species, with scientists likely only having identified 1% of them! They are literally everywhere!

several protists

Fact 3: They Adapt Easily

Part of the reason that germs are so infectious is because they can adapt easily. Because microbes are smaller, less complex, have less genetic information and can reproduce so much quicker, they are able to adapt to changes in their environment quickly, which also means that they can change to become more infectious much quicker than we would anticipate. In some cases, one germ can easily make millions within a 24 hour period.

Fact 4: You Are More Bacteria than Human

To clarify, you have about 10x as many bacterial cells as human cells in and on your person. However, most of the bacteria that inhabit our bodies are important to our overall health. We live in symbiosis with our microbiome, however, they can become pathogenic when out of balance.

magnifying glass on hand

Fact 5: Your Hands Carry the Most Germs

Yup, you are the vector, more specifically those hands of yours are. Hands spread about 80% of germs that cause illness. Even more reasons to wash those hands constantly. To top it off, the items you touch regularly like the remote, your computer, phone, doors and even your steering wheel carry MORE germs than a toilet seat.

Healthy Handwashing Survey

Speaking of hands, Bradley Corporation recently released the results of its annual Healthy Handwashing Survey and the results were super interesting. Among the data, people leaned towards washing their hands over using hand sanitizer being more effective.

Handwashing vs hand sanitizer

To add to our discussion about germs being everywhere, Americans are definitely concerned about germs in the spaces they frequent. 50% of respondents worry about germs in stores whereas schools received 19%. The teacher in me found that statistic interesting since kids tend to be the most germy and often parents do not take kids into stores.

graph of american concerns

In considering these places of business and the need to wash hands, Americans were very interested in having touchless features in public restrooms, which I totally agree with. The less that I have to touch in public, the better!

touchless restrooms.

Taking in all that you learned about facts on germs, would you change your handwashing behaviors?

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