The Surprising Truth About Viruses & Bacteria

african american woman bar soap( — The number one rule in warfare is to know your opponent. When it comes to arming yourself for the cold and flu season, the best weapons of protection include knowledge about bacteria and viruses, and being able to separate truths from myths.

Myth: Superbugs are resistant to hand washing and hand sanitizers.

The Truth: Washing your hands with any soap, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, will protect you from superbugs just as much as it protects you from other bacteria and viruses. Superbugs are resistant to some antibiotics, which makes infections difficult to treat, but they are still susceptible to cleaning and good hygiene, including hand washing.

Myth: Pets such as cats and dogs are immune to infectious diseases.

The Truth: Dogs, cats and other household pets can in fact get sick from bacteria, viruses, and parasites. They can also carry and pass on bacteria.  To avoid spreading bacteria through your pets, always wash your hands after playing with or touching pets or anything they commonly touch, including toys, food and sleeping areas.