All Points Medical Waste Blog
Summer Vacation—Can Hotels Make You Sick?
Invisible dangers to be aware of
Summertime! One of the most popular times of the year for families to go on vacation—and a fun-filled journey often includes a stay at a hotel. While traveling, your accommodations are your home away from home, but they can also be a hotbed of germs, parasites and pathogens that can cause illness to you and your family. Here’s a look at many of the invisible dangers you need to be aware of before you head out on your next trip:
Where are the germs?
When we think of germs in public places like hotel rooms most of us immediately imagine the bathroom and all its fixtures as the greatest source. The handle on the flusher, the faucet on the sink and the toilet are commonly considered the biggest culprits when it comes to infectious organisms –but it may surprise you to learn that there are more bacteria on other seemingly innocuous items in hotel rooms. For instance, most of us don’t hesitate to touch things like the remote control, the telephone, the light switches or to walk barefoot on the carpet—but these things have shown a high concentration of fecal and aerobic bacteria. And, it’s these types of bacteria that can make people sick. One way to avoid these germs is to bring along sanitized wipes and clean all the surfaces before touching—also, be sure to wear slippers or socks when walking on the carpeting.
Can cleaning actually spread germs?
It’s a great feeling when you return to your hotel room after a day at the beach or sightseeing to see that the hotel cleaning team has been there to clean up, make the beds, leave clean towels, etc. But studies show that the items on the custodial cart often contain high levels of bacterial—mops, sponges and other cleaning tools soak up the germs each time their used, raising the risk of potentially spreading infectious organisms.
And what about dust mites & bed bugs?
You’ve likely seen the news stories about bed bugs and dust mites in hotels—yet it’s still surprising that these issues still exist. The fact is, everyone needs to be aware when traveling, for those with allergies, it’s especially important to remember that mattresses, comforters, pillows and blankets may be covered with invisible allergens that can definitely put a damper on your vacation. And bed bugs, blood-sucking insects that bite people, have been reported in all 50 states. To ensure that your hotel room is not hosting bed bugs, it’s best to check the mattress for brown spots and for the bugs themselves. Also, make sure you close your suitcases when you’re not using them and leave all luggage on the luggage rack—nobody wants to take these unwanted guests home with them!
Summer vacations should be carefree and fun, and they can be if you’re cognizant of the health dangers that may be invisible to you. If you’re vigilant about checking for bed bugs, washing hands and using hand sanitizer, you should be able to avoid getting ill while traveling.
All Points Medical Waste is a family owned and operated company that serves Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Check our blog often for more health and medical related articles.