Common At-Home Viruses and Bacteria

Bacteria and viruses are everywhere – even in the comfort of your own home. These are microscopic living organisms that can cause diseases which, when left untreated or improperly managed, can lead to more serious conditions.

Bacteria are single-celled molecular organisms that can produce their own energy and reproduce on their own. They vary in shape and structural features, and can live in almost every living environment. 

Viruses are microorganisms that are smaller than bacteria. They are parasitic, which means that they reproduce and thrive inside a host and are totally dependent upon another living cell.

Now more than ever, it’s essential to be aware of the more common bacteria and viruses that can be roaming around your environment, especially your home. It’s also vital to understand and habitually practice precautionary measures to help you and your family members stay safe and healthy.


The Most Common Viruses and Bacteria You Need to Know About

There are more than 340 different bacteria on numerous food items, places, and objects in your home. While not all may be considered harmful, many of them can cause illnesses, hospitalization, or even worse, death.

Here are some of the most common bacteria and viruses that you need to be cautious of at home:


Escherichia coli (E. coli)

This bacteria is caused by contaminated food and water, unpasteurized milk, farm animals, the feces of infected people, improper food preparations, and poor personal hygiene.

It normally lives in a person’s intestines, resulting in abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, and fever. When improperly managed, it can lead to bloody diarrhea, constant vomiting, dehydration, and kidney failure.


Staphylococcus aureus

Also called Staph, this bacteria is commonly found on one’s skin or in the nose and can lead to food poisoning if they touch food items without washing their hands. Food like meat and dairy products have a high risk of contamination if handled by a carrier.

Staph bacteria acts so fast that it can affect you in as little as 30 minutes after eating something contaminated. This often causes abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.


Influenza (Flu)

This highly contagious virus causes seasonal flu and can mutate into different strains every year. It’s commonly spread via direct contact with infected people, breathing in coughs or sneezes, or touching contaminated surfaces.

While it can be preventable by vaccination, influenza can still seriously affect individuals, especially babies and the elderly. Symptoms can vary from coughing and headache to fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.

When left untreated, it can lead to serious diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia, and organ damage.



This strain of virus is zoonotic, which means that it originated in animals and then spread to humans. It’s commonly transmitted from human to human through infected droplets that are spread via coughing and sneezing. 

At first, it can lead to symptoms that look similar to the common cold or flu, but it also leads to shortness of breath, lack of taste, and extremely high fever. Some people might not show signs of coronavirus, but others experience severe respiratory problems and pneumonia. At worst, it leads to organ failure and even death.


Paramyxovirus family

This highly contagious virus heavily impacts the respiratory system. It causes measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) infections, and is commonly transmitted through droplets from infected people when they cough or sneeze. Despite being preventable by vaccines, this remains one of the deadliest viruses in the world. 

Initial symptoms can include coughing, inflamed eyes, fever, runny nose, and sore throat. Some people also develop small white spots, called Koplik’s. Additionally, it can cause flat, red rashes that start on the person’s face before spreading across the body.



This is a common bacterial disease that impacts the intestinal tract. A person becomes infected if they consume contaminated or mishandled food and water, and then the bacteria lives in their intestines.

It usually impacts the host within eight to 72 hours after consumption. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloody stool, chills, diarrhea, fever, and nausea. More serious cases can lead to severe dehydration and death.


How Viruses and Bacteria Travel

recent study shows that bacteria and viruses can spread from one person to another or from person to surface. The most common method of transmission is through air.

When an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets scatter in the air or end up in that individual’s hands, and then spread to surfaces like doorknobs, handles, or personal items. If a person inhales that bacteria or virus, it can then travel through their body system.

In addition, crowded areas with poor air circulation lead to the spread of disease-carrying microscopic particles. Some of these particles circulate and thrive in spaces with inadequate ventilation – especially in areas that are damp, humid, and moist.


How to Reduce Viruses and Bacteria in Your Home

There are numerous ways to sanitize your home to help limit the spread of disease-carrying bacteria and viruses – like washing your hands properly, disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces, and cleaning your common areas.

Effective indoor ventilation is a key step in keeping bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants out of your home. In fact, research shows that the more stagnant the air is, the higher the chances are for diseases to spread. That’s why enhancing the ventilation of your home and ensuring a good air flow and air quality can minimize the transmission of airborne illnesses.

That’s where a trusted air purifier for optimal air cleaning comes in. 

Sans air purifiers use a three-stage filtration process – a pre-filter, HEPA 13 filter, and activated carbon filter – and finally, UV-C light sterilization to ensure that physical particles and invisible pathogens are targeted.

With its advanced technology, the Sans air purifier allows you to easily monitor, accurately measure, and automatically clean your indoor air as needed. Plus, it covers up to 780 square feet, so you can keep your home healthy and your family safe. 

Ready to learn more and take action? Check out Sans today.