What's 'HANGINfection' and how can you protect yourself?

Germs lurk on dirty surfaces, but they’re also in the air you breathe


Published: 5:00 PM May 15, 2018

Updated: 2:57 PM May 15, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Germs don’t just thrive on crummy surfaces — whether it’s the door knob of a public restroom, or an MRT handrail marked with fingerprints.

They’re also in the air we breathe every day. Airborne particles, or bioaerosols, contain viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

They’re in the polluted air breezing through the jeepney we ride for our daily commutes. These germs come from soil, organic debris, and industrial pollution.

But they’re indoors too. Bioaerosols laden with germs circulate inside air-conditioned rooms.

Whenever someone coughs or sneezes, or even so much as talks or breathes, they spew bacteria and virus into the air.

Staying in close quarters with people indoors can mean greater chances of getting infected with these germs.

Larger bioaerosols fall to the floor, table, and other surfaces. Smaller ones remain suspended in the air for hours, days, even months, in dry air — ready to be inhaled by some hapless victim! It can also enter the body through damaged skin.

Unfortunately, this means you don’t have to be within close proximity to the infected to get infected as well.

Airborne transmissions cause infections, ranging from pimples, the common cough and cold, the flu, and even gastrointestinal diseases.

Kids are particularly susceptible, given that their immune systems are less developed.

What can I do to prevent that?

They’re unavoidable, but practices of basic hygiene can do a lot to shield yourself and others against them.

Cover your mouth whenever you cough or sneeze — it’s common courtesy after all. Wash your hands thoroughly right after.  

If you’re taking care of sick people, wear a face mask to avoid getting infected.

Stay at home if you do get sick. It’s not an issue of not being able to come to the office. Others may not be able to come to work as well if you infect them!

To further shield yourself, clean your body with an anti-bacterial body wash, which provides protection against airborne germs.

Spreading awareness, not germs with #IWashItThatWay

Safeguard is leading the conversation about airborne germs by spreading awareness. Check out their catchy and informative jingle featuring Alden Richards below:

You can also do your part in spreading awareness about airborne germs or #HANGINfection — and get a chance to win an iPhone X, Fujifilm X-A5, or a special gift pack from Safeguard!

Join the #IWashItThatWay contest to snag one of the prizes. Visit Safeguard’s Facebook page for the full mechanics.

Are you an Alden fan, or simply looking to join in on the fun? Join the #IWashItThatWay contest now! — Rappler.com