As you might already know, infectious pathogens such as the flu virus spread faster than any other living organism in the air we breathe. Whether it is you or your loved one in your house who is sick, there is always a high chance that the next person will get it. That is the main reason disinfection is a highly recommended action for controlling infectious diseases.

According to Elizabeth Scott, co-director of Simmons Centre for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community, germs are likely to spread through the things we touch a lot and share with the people around us. The question is, how do you reduce the chances of these germs from spreading when someone is sick? Where should you focus when cleaning?

Here are seven things you must disinfect when you or someone in your house is sick:

1. Television’s remote control

The remote control is one of those things that are often touched by almost everyone in your house. Sadly, it is also one of the things that are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting the house. Remember, if an infected person sneezes and touches it, there is a high chance the next person who touches it will get infected. This is especially vital if he or she is a kid who isn’t fond of washing his or her hands before eating.

2. Tables and countertops

How often do you clean your tables? Do you do it each time an infected person leans on it? If not, then there are high chances the next person leaning on it will get infected. Whether it is a table in the kitchen or play area, a coffee table, or a night table, it is always advisable that you disinfect it at least three times a day.

3. Your smartphone

Kids are fond of playing with phones, and they’ll probably want to touch it when they are sick to deal with boredom. The bad news is, he or she will be sneezing and touching it at the same time leaving behind as many germs as possible. The funniest part is that there is never enough time to wipe it clean when you have an incoming call. You’ll want to receive the call despite the risk. So, you either find your kid a phone to play with and clean later or disinfect your phone each time you have an incoming call.

4. Bathroom

According to a microbiology professor, cold and flu viruses are left behind on bathroom faucets often. The worst part is that it is one place you’ll have to touch when you are in the bathroom. Ensure that they are wiped clean to prevent the flu from spreading.

5. Computers

Who would want to stay away from their computer especially when he or she has nothing else to do but sit in a house because of the flu? The computer is one of those things that are only cleaned when there is visible dirt on them. However, it is recommended that you follow the cleaning instructions that come with it. Focus on the keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

6. Stuffed animals and other play toys

Your kid will probably want his or her stuffed animal to keep him or her company when he or she is alone in the house. The bad news is that the teddy bear might not be washable and that will encourage the accumulation of viruses and other germs. The best way to deal with this situation is to keep the toy away from anyone’s reach for at least five days to allow the pathogens to die. Do the same for other play toys.

Preventing germs from spreading is never easy, simply because they can exist anywhere. According to research findings, some viruses can live up to 7 days on your kitchen countertop, and they are never visible as mold or mildew. You’ll touch the countertop but proceed to handle other items in your house or even food without realizing it. Apart from disinfecting the items mentioned above, health experts recommend that you wash your hands before and after touching any items in your home to prevent the spread of illnesses.