5 Myths of Germs

Posted October 16, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 2 min read

Germs are our constant companions. They're everywhere. And they can be scary, especially when you look at them through a microscope. But these tiny microbes, which can cause everything from the common cold to a life-threatening infection.

The myth: Antibiotics will make me better when I have a cold or the flu.


  • Antibiotics work only against bacteria.
  • Most coughs, earaches, and sore throats and all colds and flus are caused by viruses.
  • Antibiotics don’t work on viruses and won’t help you recover from these infections.

The myth: Over-the-counter cough and cold medications cure infections.


  • Medications for fevers’by themselves or in combination with decongestants, antihistamines, and cough suppressants’don’t cure illness.

  • They just help make the symptoms more bearable until your body’s immune system is able to fight off the virus.

  • They may help you feel a bit better, but you could still be infectious to others.

  • Cough and cold medications don’t work and can be dangerous in young children, so they should be avoided.

The myth: Superbugs are resistant to handwashing and cleaning.


  • Washing your hands or using an alcohol-based hand rub will protect you from superbugs just as well as from other bacteria and viruses.

  • Superbugs may be resistant to some antibiotics, making infections difficult to treat, but they are still susceptible to cleaning and are helpless against good hygiene.

The myth: I don’t need to worry about having a fever if it’s not too high.


  • Even a low-grade fever is often a sign that your body is fighting an infection.

  • If you have a fever with a cough or with vomiting and diarrhea or a rash, these can all be signs that the infection may be one that you can pass on to others.

  • You should stay home and isolate yourself, and call your health-care provider for advice if your symptoms are worrisome.

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


  • Household pets can carry bacteria and can get sick from many types of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

  • To keep yourself and your family from getting an illness from your pet, always clean your hands after playing with pets or touching their food, toys, or sleeping areas, and before preparing food.

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