Traverse City Record-Eagle

Community News Network

December 18, 2012

Creepy-crawly holidays: 9 ways to avoid germs

The most wonderful time of the year has a dark underbelly: germs, bugs and general ickiness that can travel more quickly than Santa's sleigh. We're not trying to give you the willies, just suggesting a few easy ways to prevent problems and make your holidays even happier.

Spoiled Snacks on the Doorstep

Mail-order food gifts are great unless the weather outside is too delightful to keep them cold. Left out too long, even well-packaged perishables such as cheese and cheesecake become frightful. What to do: Open perishables immediately. If food temperature is above 40 degrees, call the company that sent it and don't eat any. Not even a nibble. Seriously, don't.

Maladies Under the Mistletoe

Before you pucker up, consider a cheery note from a British Columbia health department: "Colds, kissing disease [mononucleosis], herpes infection, warts, hepatitis B and meningococcal disease may all be transmitted by kissing." What to do: Smooch with discretion. (Thinking about warts should help.)

Tummy Troubles in Tight Places

Getting away for the holidays? Norovirus, a.k.a. "winter vomiting disease," causes more than 20 million cases of gastroenteritis every year. It spreads easily in tight quarters such as hotels, restaurants, airplanes and cruise ships and is often transmitted on uncooked greens, fruit and shellfish. What to do: Wash hands often and don't share utensils. If someone becomes ill with nausea or diarrhea, disinfect contaminated surfaces with a bleach solution.

(Hum)bug on the Tree

Critters on conifers are harmless and usually remain unnoticed until you haul the tree to the curb, but a few mites, spiders or praying mantids might hop off or hatch and stay awhile. What to do: Before taking a tree inside, shake it to get rid of loose bugs and remove obvious eggs and nests. Don't spray with insecticide - it's flammable.

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot