The thing everyone is scared of, E. coli, is known to those of us who know about these things as Escherichia coli. It was discovered by a chap called Dr. Escherich, and he must have family still alive. If that bug’s first name hit the papers, the whole family would probably be regarded as a disease.
The truth is that you have more E. coli in your body than there are people on the planet. All the time. Everyone. They are almost totally and absolutely harmless.
When we microbial types test, for example, water, we do not run a whole series of tests for all the nasties that could be in there. That would cost a fortune. Instead we test for E. coli even though (apart from a few variants that make up a tiny percentage of the wide range of bacteria with that name) it won’t infect anyone.
Why? Simple. E. coli only lives in guts. All animals and birds carry it. So if it is in your water supply, there is shit in your water and you are at risk of nasties. Doesn’t mean you will definitely get nasties, but if shit is getting in you really do want to fix that.
That is all. The bacterium we test for indicates someone or something has shit in your water supply. No more than that. There are dangerous variants of this bacterium but if you are not ill, you don’t have one. You do have billions of them in you, right now, and so does everyone else, and your dog and your cat and your budgie. Any animal that routinely licks its own arse has it on its tongue. Fortunately for the rising tide of claims, Jimmy Savile wasn’t physically capable of licking his own. He had people to do it for him.
It is therefore no surprise at all to find that it is on many peoples’ hands. Since I have, today, had to deal with the results of a customer using a shop toilet who managed to miss a toilet-sized hole while sitting on it, it’s probably on my hands. Since I have had to deal with many, many samples per day of pig, cow, chicken and human shit over the years, it’s probably been constantly on my hands for a very long time.
Washing is overrated. Soap is not disinfectant and water just makes the buggers grow faster. Some will grow on the chemicals in detergents. Washing reduces your chances of infection because most nasties need to arrive in a big gang to get a hold. A few Salmonella won’t infect you. A lot will. Wash most of them off and you win. E. coli is always present in vast numbers but it doesn’t really matter.
There is no way at all to reduce your chance of infection to zero. None. Wash your hands and stop worrying about it.
Okay, I have washed my hands in chemicals the general public aren’t allowed to have, and in some you are allowed to have but you’d use plastic gloves. This is because I am trained in exposure levels and times and can get away with it. This is a blog, not a teaching facility, and if I told you what I’ve done and you tried it, I’d get sued by people with no fingers.
It’s interesting to note that the Daily Death claims that the shit is on bank cards. What are you people doing with them? Look, it’s simple, you use the cards to buy toilet paper or alternative plastic scrapers. There is no need to gum up the chip on your card. The motto is ‘chip and PIN’ not ‘shit and scrape’.
It’s on the cards because it’s on the hands. The cards are irrelevant. If it’s on someone’s hands it’s on everything they touch. But it’s MOSTLY HARMLESS. E. coli is a wide range of bacteria within a species, just as chihuahuas and lopers are the same species of dog. Pit bulls are the same species as a slobbering Dalmatian. One is scary, the other is thicker than the E. coli-containing produce of its back end, and softer than it too.
The article also claims it’s on cash. Yes it is. So is cocaine and third hand smoke (I’m still adding warnings to mine). Cash picks up all sorts of things, but unlike the cocaine traces, the bacteria gradually die.
No mention is made of how they did these tests. If they looked for DNA, they would pick up dead bacteria but if they looked for live, culturable bacteria (these days I doubt it) they would only get results within a day or so of being handled by someone shitty.
It looks like both a further step towards phone-paying and then implanted chips, and also a whack in the face for the Government’s idea to issue cards to the drinking classes.
Comments are worth reading. The scared-of-dirt are out in force.