How Much Are The Tickets For World Cup 2022 What’s Lurking Under Your Fingernails?

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What’s Lurking Under Your Fingernails?

In the spring of 1997, I spent a wonderful day with Dr. Omar Amin in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr Amin is one of the world’s most respected and popular parasitologists and runs the Parasitology Center Inc in Scottsdale, Arizona.

He gave me a copy of his paper ‘Understanding Parasites’ where there was a sentence that has always stuck in my mind: “A recent audit of an expensive restaurant in Los Angeles showed that 100% of all employees (not just servers) had fecal matter under their fingernails”.

Faecal matter and disease (especially parasites) generally go together. With our cities offering food from increasingly exotic regions of the world, this includes an increased incidence of parasite-borne diseases, especially if these regional foods are undercooked or even raw: Dutch herring, steak tartare, ceviche, sashimi, sushi for example. Tapeworms are high on the list of ‘inhabitants’ in these foods as is the Anisacid Worm.

A food handler with poor personal hygiene will most likely increase the exposure and risk of spread of pathogenic organisms. Years ago kitchen staff wore gloves and hairnets when handling food. They don’t seem to do this anymore although regular hand washing practices may be mandatory these days.

University of Gondar, Ethiopia

In 2003, 127 food handlers who worked in the cafeteria of the University of Gondar and the Teacher Training College there were fingerprinted. These cafes were chosen because the extensive provision of foods is a likely source of transmission of infections. The fingernail contents of the hand and stool specimens were collected from each of the 127 food handlers. In addition to faecal matter under the nails, the following were found:

– Coagulase-negative staphylococci (41.7%) from Staphylococcus aureus (16.5%), Klebisella species (5.5%), Escherichia coli (3.1%), Serratia species (1.58%), Citrobacter species (0.8%), and Enterobacter species (0.8 %) %).

– Shigella species were isolated from faecal samples of four food handlers (3.1%). None of the food handlers were positive for Salmonella species and Shigella species in their nail contents.

Thankfully, no intestinal parasites were found from the nail contents, but intestinal parasites were found in their faeces:

– Ascaris lumbricoides (18.11%), Strongyloides stercoralis (5.5%) Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (1.6%), Trichuris trichiura (1.6%), roundworm species (0.8%), Gardia lamblia (0.8%), and Schistosoma mansoni (0.8 %) ); 1.6% of the study subjects were positive for each of A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura, hookworm, and Giardia lamblia.

It is clear from this and many other studies that food handlers are a potential source of infection. But it’s not just food handlers. To give you an idea of ​​where and how contamination occurs, here are two lists.

The 10 ‘dirtiest’ jobs:

1. Teacher/day care worker

2. Cashier (bank, post office, supermarket, fast food etc.)

3. Policeman

4. Animal control officer

5. Janitor, plumber

6. Repairing a computer (using a dirty keyboard/mouse)

7. A doctor or nurse

8. Laboratory scientist

9. Garbage collector

10. Meat packer

Here are some of the dirtiest places you’ll touch in your day:

1. Supermarket trolley link

2. An office keyboard (not yours) and a mouse

3. The button on a public drinking fountain or office

4. Door handles – toilet, fridge and microwave in the office and home

5. vending machine buttons

6. The kitchen sink in your home

7. Your toothbrush, if left near a flushing toilet (always close the toilet lid!) and the toothbrush holder

8. TV remote control (hotel and home)

9. Anywhere around household pets (including sandboxes)

10. Escalator guides

11. The buttons on ATMs, lifts, video game controllers

12. Petrol pumps

13. Car steering wheels, especially with multiple drivers

Next time you go out for a drink, think before you dip your fingers into the bowl of peanuts on the bar. Alongside the nuts will be fecal matter and urine residue. Then of course there’s that lemon wedge in your drink:

“I worked in restaurants for years and this is what I saw. The lemons and limes were handed out and put in the walk-in cooler. When the bartender needed a handful he would go and grab in them by putting them in his apron He would then slice them up on a cutting board and put them in cups and place them on the bar Customer #1 orders a beer and pays for the beer The bartender stuffs the cash to the register Customer #2 orders a vodka and soda with lemon The bartender reaches into the ice bin and fills the cup, grabs a lemon and squeezes the lemon into the drink No no water touches the fruit or his hands at any time and this goes on all day. Money, ice and fruit. Oh, and the occasional trip to the john.”

Men generally have more germs under their nails than women but there are more germs under artificial nails than real ones.

There is hope of course…

Viruses and bacteria are an integral part of our lives. There are billions of them within and around us. A strong, healthy immune system will generally take care of most of the daily threats we pick up from that dirty supermarket trolley or domestic pet, but being aware of this is also valuable .

Some Nail Facts:

– onychopathy is the study of fingernails and toenails.

– Fingernails are basically dead cells made of a protein called keratin – the same stuff as our hair. We’d get along just fine without them but they’re great at helping us do weird things like grip things better, text and scratch ourselves. They also absorb some of the stress that the tip of the finger bones would otherwise have to bear.

— Nails grow faster when you’re young, faster on your more active hand and bigger in summer than winter. They also grow faster on pregnant women.

– Dry nails? Just drink more water.

On a final health note…

Try not to drink straight from aluminum cans. If you buy canned drinks and bring them home, wash the tops because they may carry a virus called Leptospirosis.

There is a lot of scaremongering on the internet about people dying from drinking out of unwashed cans. I’m not sure of the accuracy of that but if there is any truth to this, it would be because the victim has such a depleted immune system, offering little or no resistance to the invading bacteria.

Tests have shown that some aluminum cans carry dried rat urine containing Leptospira i. Cans are usually stored in rat infested warehouses and delivered straight to retail stores without being cleaned! Just so you know.

Let’s keep the exposure to a minimum.

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