Episode 18: Ew, Fomites!

Fomite is a word you may or may not have heard before, that is used to refer to daily objects that are responsible for the transmission of infectious diseases like colds and flus. The most common, and least thought about one being, money. Hence, when we say that “money is the root of all evil”, there is some justification as it spreads infectious disease, including greed, well. Other common fomites include doorknobs, taps, communal pens & pencils, other people’s hands (i.e.: handshaking), waiting room magazines and public transit handles that we hold to steady ourselves while standing on the bus or train.
About 10 to 14 days is the amount of time that cold and flu viruses can survive on surfaces like fomites and be transmissible, depending on the virus. Now, before you get paranoid and cloister yourself up in the mountains in a shack without Wi-Fi or access to continued episodes of this podcast, lets get to the interventions to set your mind at ease.

Firstly, one of the number one interventions that prevents infection transmission is simply washing your hands frequently. As mentioned in episode 6 on probiotics, just regular soap will do, as anti-bacterial soap is harmful in the long run.

The second intervention comes from public health practices in Japan. Due to the population density, public transport is essential in Japan, but also means there are more opportunities for cold and flu transmission. The Japanese have helped to lower this frequency by simply wearing surgical masks, both to prevent getting sick, as well as to prevent transmission when they are sick. They even have decorative ones that make wearing that mask look more fashionable. This intervention helps to prevent sneeze and cough droplets from getting into the air and infecting others in close proximity.

The last two interventions come from episodes 4 (on Vitamin C) and 17 (on Vitamin D). Simply put, 2 of the best antivirals out there are optimal dosed vitamin C, and D.

Stay tuned next week where we’ll go over the benefits of iodine in Lugol’s solution.

Be Well and Be Zen

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