Touching is somewhat inevitable. Humans are wired to be touch and be touched. From birth until the day we die. Aside from human to human touch, there is the human to inanimate object contact.
We do it intentionally and unintentionally. From hugging, to handshake, pat on the back, “knuckle chopping”, holding of hands, legs rubbings, money exchange, and a whole lot, we find it inconceivable to live without physical contact.
Although, skin-to-skin contact is vital for mental, emotional health, and physical health, however, here are a few reasons, you might want to reconsider and minimise physical contacts.
And simple preventative measures, such as frequent hand washing, staying away from the sick (especially those with infectious diseases) can cut down on disease transmission.
Diseases that can spread via touch are known as infectious or transmissible, while communicable diseases and are transmitted from one person to another whether by direct contact or indirect contact.
Infectious diseases can also be spread indirectly through the air and other mechanisms. For example measles, food, water, animal-to-person contact, contaminated objects (touching elevator button, doorknob, light switch etc,) environmental reservoirs, etc.
These common diseases can be transmitted directly from per-to-person by kissing, straw sharing, fluid (urine, saliva, breastmilk, semen and vaginal secretions) exchange, touching, sneezing, coughing, etc, even before an infected person is aware of the illness.
Diseases that can be passed via the aforementioned include :
1. Scabies is caused mite bite that burrows into the skin and lays eggs. This occurs through prolonged skin-to-skin contact by sharing towels or clothes. It causes intense itching and rashes that are pimples-like.
2. Sexually Transmitted diseases (STDs) are spread through all types of sex — oral, anal, or vaginal.
3. Conjunctivitis also called pink eye, it can be passed from one per to another. It is often transmitted when the infected person touched the affected area and then touch another person.
It can also be caught when a person the infected person sneezes and or coughs and the droplets come in contact with your eyes. The symptoms include itching, pink eye, watery eyes.
4. Chickenpox is highly contagious and is transmitted when you come in contact with the blisters, mucus, saliva of an infected person. Chickenpox is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes an itchy rash with small, fluid-filled blisters.
5. Covid-19 is the latest raging deadly pandemic that has led to the death of millions of people globally within its the first year of appearance.
If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. Check local advice where you live and work. Do it all!