Two fundamental questions now need to be answered:
“How can we develop an approach to hygiene, which reconnects us with the necessary microbial exposures, whilst also protecting us against infectious diseases? “
The answer is to promote “targeted hygiene”
How do we change public understanding about the difference between “cleanliness” (absence of visible dirt) and “hygiene” (protecting against infectious diseases)
This is a real challenge
What is targeted hygiene?
Targeted hygiene means knowing the “critical points” in the chain of infection transmission, and using hygiene measures at these points to stop pathogens from spreading further
It makes more sense if we know where harmful microbes (pathogens) start from
- Pathogens mostly come from people, contaminated food and pets in the home
- mostly pathogens use the environment only as the means to spread
- although some can set up home in places where there is dirt, moisture and warmth.
“Getting rid” of the germs from our homes is impossible. Hygiene is the ongoing battle to prevent harmful microbes from spreading i.e. to break the chain of infection
What are Germs?
When someone talks about germs we usually go “yuck” – but be careful – it’s often used to mean any type of microbe – including the “good guys” – very confusing!