HOW DIRTY ARE YOUR CARPETS
“Carpets probably have 200,000 bacteria PER SQUARE INCH; that’s about 4000 times grosser than your toilet”, according to Philip Tierno, Jr., Ph.D., a New York University Langone Medical Center microbiologist, immunologist and author of The Secret Life of Germs.
Below is a list of common bacteria that can be found in the home on carpets and furniture:
ESCHERICHIA COLI (E. COLI)
E. coli comes in a variety of different strands with varying effects. While some can be harmless, others can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, and pneumonia. It is found in the intestinal tract of mammals and released through fecal matter. It can be deposited onto you carpet directly from pets, splashing out of toilets, and tracked from outside – to name a few. A toxin carrying strand causes E.coli infections when ingested, usually through contaminated food or water.
STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS (STAPH)
Staph is a bacteria carried by around 25% of the population living in the nose or on the skin, even on otherwise very healthy people. Staph can range from minor skin irritations to much more extreme conditions such as MRSA which is resistant to antibiotics. The infection often begins with a little cut, which gets infected by the bacteria. Some types can be treated with antibiotics, while some are resistant. Staph can spread on the carpet through blood, skin, dirty hands and fingernails, and mucous (sneezing).
There are approximately 40,000 cases of salmonella reported each year with an estimated 30-40 times milder cases undiagnosed. Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramping, with infants and young children being the most susceptible to infection. It is spread to the carpet through feces of people and animals, including mammals, birds, and reptiles. Salmonella can be transferred on the carpet through contaminated food, pets, and from tracking in from outside.
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