WAYNE, N.J. -- Basic infection prevention in the home can have a major impact on your family's health. Viruses, bacteria, and fungi are common guests in our homes, and many can cause us to be sick. The vast majority of infections caused by these germs, such as colds, "stomach flu," and athlete's foot are transmitted by contact, so it's very important to make sure that household surfaces are not only clean, but also disinfected.
"It's easy to eliminate the illness-causing viruses and bacteria that lurk on households surfaces," says Joseph Rubino, director of support science for the Lysol.
Some of the harmful germs and fungi that can found in the home include:
* Staphylococcus, or "Staph" -- can cause a variety of illnesses, from
skin infections to food poisoning
* Rhinovirus -- can cause the common cold
* Salmonella, Campylobacter and E.coli -- can cause food poisoning
* Rotavirus -- the leading cause of infectious diarrhea in children
Watch out for germ "hot spots," or commonly touched areas where viruses and bacteria can linger. Great places to use disinfectant sprays in your home include doorknobs, counter tops, bathroom surfaces, and other high-touch places.
Rubino advises rethinking how you clean, and make sure you're achieving a "complete clean." This means that whatever surface you're tackling looks clean because you removed the dirt and grime; germs are eliminated, because you used a disinfectant product; and it smells clean and deodorized when you finish the job.