Germ phobia strikes even people who should know better - page 6

by GrnTea 20,671 Views | 59 Comments

Someone who was very worried of being "exposed to things" at work posted recently; there were several follow-up posts on being afraid of things outside the hospital, not wanting to touch the shopping carts or the doors in public... Read More


  1. 0
    Great article!

    I remember when I was in India, I had just watched a show about the TB problem in India, and right after that we went to a movie theatre. We were handed our popcorn and just as I was putting the first bite in my mouth I saw the popcorn guy cough into his hand, wipe it on his pants, and then eat a handful of popcorn out of the machine. Another time we were in a store and there was a water cooler and several stainless steel cups. The customers would just drink from the cups and put them back.

    My husband, from India, has the immune system to envy. I have only ever seen him sick a few times. He will run a fever for like 24 hours, blow his nose a few times, and then recover. He has had malaria three times as a child and survived to tell about it, had chicken pox as a teenager, and breakbone fever once. You see lepers everywhere and polio is finally getting under control.

    I work on a respiratory floor where we get all kinds of bugs. I made it a year without getting sick even with all the MRSA, kleb, psudamonas, parainfluenza versions, etc. Know when I got sick finally? My kid brought a cold home from school and I caught it.
  2. 0
    LOVE THIS! God made dirt and dirt don't hurt
  3. 1
    Quote from carsm3
    Oh I know they are DISGUSTING! When he licks his behind I try to stay clear for awhile. I don't buy it that dogs mouths are cleaner than humans. They lick their privates for crying out loud! I guess my love for the little guy just outweighs how disgusting he is.
    Two words: Oral sex. Feel better?
    nrsang97 likes this.
  4. 0
    LOL....
    Quote from GrnTea
    Two words: Oral sex. Feel better?
  5. 4
    Quote from SuzieVN
    Licking privates is not what I meant to infer- eating feces, yes. What amount of time needs to pass after that, before a dog licks your face? I don't care to know. The reason it's illegal, usually, not to clean up after a dog (versus a horse) is that dog feces spread disease that affects humans. Kiss and lick away~ xoxoxo
    Jut getting a little late to catch up on this one.

    Actually, not true. Want to know what the poison control people will tell you when you call them up in a panic because your 15-month-old has picked up some dog doo from the sidewalk and put it in his mouth? I can tell you from first-hand experience (my sweet lord, that kid would eat anything...): "Wipe out his mouth, give him some water to drink, ... and try not to think about it." Honestly. Still makes me laugh to remember it.

    They said that there are very few, if any, parasites or pathological bacteria that live in dogs that will set up housekeeping in people.
    Nurse Leigh, Nascar nurse, wooh, and 1 other like this.
  6. 0
    Maybe a strange part of the OP to focus on but in Japan docs don't tell the pts their dx?? Really??
  7. 0
    Quote from danceyrun
    Maybe a strange part of the OP to focus on but in Japan docs don't tell the pts their dx?? Really??
    It's considered wrong to ask questions, as the physician loses face and you are expected to accept the tx plan without questioning. It is common for the actual dx not to be shared c the patient or family in many settings.
  8. 0
    I don't consider myself a germaphobe, but just graduating as an RN opened my eyes to things in the world around me. Before entering healthcare, I didn't seem to notice all the little "infractions" either like at a restaurant or grocery store. Makes you wish the schools were working health safety into the curriculum a little more.
  9. 1
    I think it is far more complex than simply being exposed to a wide variety of microbes=getting sick less often.

    I do think the Hygiene Hypothesis has merit, but there are a lot of confounding variables that have not been accounted for, meaning that more research is needed before we have solid evidence of a causal link between being "too clean" and the uptick in inflammatory/atopic diseases in First World countries like the U.S. I think there are other environmental factors as well as genetic factors at play.

    But in essence, I do agree with the article on principle. I get annoyed with the overemphasis on eliminating microbes from the environment and from our bodies, when the vast majority of microbes are non-pathogenic and actually help us in some way or another.

    On the other hand, I am a neat freak- I like things ordered and in their place, and I am really compulsive about surfaces. I like surfaces to be clean. Surfaces include the floor, counters, refrigerator doors, windows, mirrors, etc. Not because I am afraid of microorganisms, but because I find clean surfaces to be more aesthetically pleasing and relaxing for me.

    While I follow hand hygiene protocols at work, I am not a constant hand washer at home, nor do I shower daily, and I wash my scrubs with all of my other "normal" laundry. I have lived with cats and dogs all of my life. I had all of my childhood immunizations and I get my flu shot every year. I rarely get sick. Rarely. I can remember the year I was last ill, 17 years ago- aside from the common cold once a year or every other year.

    A friend of mine, who is also a nurse, who has animals, who is not a clean freak and who's home is messier than mine, is frequently ill with some sort of viral infection. So anecdotally, the cleaner person in my situation is *less frequently ill*. Not so simple! Anecdotal evidence is poor evidence. There are always outliers.

    On a side note, alcohol hand gels and bleach wipes do NOT cause antimicrobial resistance in bacteria. This is because their mechanism of action is nonspecific, as opposed to antibiotics, which have specific pathways. Additionally, antimicrobials such as Triclosan have not been proven to cause resistance in organisms, although it isn't clear yet, so there is reasonable concern, which is why I do not use Triclosan containing products in my home.
    Last edit by ~*Stargazer*~ on Apr 3
    GrnTea likes this.
  10. 1
    Common ordinary dirt (and the banquette seats) are not likely to carry viral infections, so she's getting those from somewhere else. Maybe she has chronically dry nasal tissue so she's more susceptible to aerosoized secretions in the grocery store, or she travels a lot and is always exposed to new populations of bugs, or maybe she doesn't have snot-nosed kids in the house exposing her as much (oh, lord, was I just sick as a dog following a few days with my beloved snot-nosed 3-year-old granddaughter...I don't get out as much as I used to, I guess )

    Overtreatment and paranoia about ordinary life infections are worse than letting them run their course. You're completely right about alcohol and bleach not causing resistance because of their method of action -- another reason why I wish more students were required to take semester lab courses on micro and patho.
    LadyFree28 likes this.


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