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Public Health/Transmission of germs from inanimate objects?

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Question
Hi,
I have heard that germs can be transmitted from inanimate objects. Is this true? For eg., if an infected person A touches an object, and then B touches the object, is it possible for the infection to spread from A to B? What precautions can be taken against this? Obviously washing hands each time after touching any object does not seem very practical?

Answer
What you've identified is the only option.  The risk (potential exposure) occurs every time you use a public restroom, play with an animal using something the put in their mouth, or share a toothbrush.
The epidemiological term for the "object" is "fomite".

The herpes virus will last up to three days, on a toothbrush.  (This is an anecdote I pulled from something I read over ten yeara ago. I apologize because I can't recall where,).

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John Crout

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Will answer questions about prevention methods, drug trials (within my expertise), use of statistics, history, public education methods

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Clinical drug trials, patient utilization analysis in managed care

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Master of Public Health

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