I’ll admit, I can be a bit of a sap. I love my husband to the moon and back. Just looking at my son makes my heart melt. I love all my family members dearly and absolutely adore my parents and my father-in-law. I may not always show it, but I do. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, however, I don’t think that you need expensive dinners, gifts or flowers to show that you love someone. I’m a card girl. This year, the card I got from my husband was simple “My wife, my love. Then, now, and always, you’re the one for me.” Yep. I’m a sap. To quote one of my favorite movies, Jerry Maguire, “You had me at hello.”
Valentine’s Day, love and infection control go hand in hand. Kissing and cuddling are among the most common signs of love. Kissing your loved ones is as natural and common as taking a breath, but did you know that our mouths are home to more microorganisms then I care to think about? While it’s true that some microorganisms are beneficial to our health, there are many disease producing germs such as Streptococcus mutans (a pathogen that causes pneumonia and sinusitis), herpes simplex virus (cold sores or canker sores), cold and flu virus, and of course “kissing disease” (mononucleosis) that may also reside there.
If our mouths are not bad enough, there are also surfaces and even food for us to contend with. If you went out for dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day you may have come into contact with germs left behind from the people who ate at the table prior to you, your server and even the people who prepped and cooked your meal. We had takeout…sushi. We love it, but I admit, eating raw fish can sometimes be a bit like playing Russian roulette.
You may think that Valentine’s Day is over for another year and for some, you may be in the clear. For others, you may need to wait another 24hr or so hours. Why? Well, the incubation period for some of the more common diseases you make catch over Valentine’s Day range from 12 hours to 5 days. Mono on the other hand takes 4 – 7 weeks! I hope you don’t have plans for the weekend. Some of you may be coming down with the flu, a cold or norovirus. My brother and his family are coming for the weekend. I hear my brother has a man cold… But he’s family and I love him.
You can be assured I will be washing my hands and wiping the surfaces in my house down this weekend. I’m heading on vacation in a couple of weeks and I do not plan on being sick for it!