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Real Men Wear Gowns: Germs

Dr. Larry Richmond talks about the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of germs.

PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Ever wonder how you get sick?

It's germs, which are bacteria or viruses.

"Small, microscopic living things that we cannot see that can make us ill," says Dr. Larry Richmond at Park Nicollet Clinic in Plymouth.

Those germs are on objects all around us.

"Luckily many of the viruses we worry about most do not live on surfaces for very long," Dr. Richmond says.

However, Dr. Richmond says they are frequently transmitted from person to person.

"You are more likely to get germs from hand to hand contact or from air born - people coughing, sneezing," says Dr. Richmond.

That's where clean hands come in. Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.

Hand sanitizer is also very helpful.

"It is not 100% effective against all viruses, but it is recommended because realistically we cannot wash our hands at all times," Dr. Richmond says.

RELATED: Wash your hands! Here’s how to do it right

Just to be safe, it's also a good idea to wash, or at least wipe down, things like your phone, computer keyboard or tablet.

"I would recommend a couple times a week. You certainly read studies about all the contaminants that are on these surfaces, that has not been proven to be a serious risk to our health so much as the person-to-person or not washing our hands before we eat," says Dr. Richmond.

So, remember. Wet, lather, scrub, rinse, dry. It's quick, it's simple - and it can keep us all from getting sick. 

Hand washing is a win for everyone, except the germs.

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