In the same manner that we harness the benefits of microbes, where appropriate, we fight micro-organisms where they can do harm. There are many ways to combat microbial growth, and most involve simple measures that we can employ at home or in the workplace. For example:
- High temperatures can kill microbes, and low temperatures can slow down their growth. This is why it is so important to properly cook, clean and/or to refrigerate food properly.
- Through thorough cleaning – of both hands and various environmental surfaces – we remove microbes and the debris that they feed on, which can help reduce cross-contamination from the environment to food and other exposed areas.
- Micro-organisms need humidity to grow. By keeping moisture at bay through ventilation and heating, it is possible to prevent the growth of mould and other microbes.
Pathogenic Disease occurs when a germs / infectious agents (i.e. Pathogenic Bacteria, Virus, Fungi / Yeast or protozoa) causes disease or illness to its host – Such a germ is called a pathogen.
Some bacteria which are a normal part of the body’s flora, can become pathogenic, if their numbers get out of control or they move to and multiply in an area where they are not supposed to be.
Pathogens can infect the body by various transmission routes – affected by the widely varying length of survival of the microorganism outside of the body:
- Droplet contact – coughing or sneezing on another person
- Direct physical contact – touching an infected person, including sexual contact
- Indirect contact – usually by touching contaminated soil or a contaminated surface
- Airborne transmission – if the microorganism can remain in the air for long periods
- Fecal-oral transmission – usually from contaminated food or water sources
- Vector borne transmission – carried by insects or other animals