A Primer on the Health Hazards of Sharing Microphones
How often do you hear of concerts that are canceled because the featured performer had the flu, a cold or a throat problem? Did you ever wonder how they might have gotten sick? Do you ever wonder why ministers traveling from church to church get sick so often?
In today’s electronics age, common personal audio devices such as headphones and earphones are widely used — but seldom shared. So why is it that performers tolerate sharing microphones from venue to venue — with no knowledge of who’s used the microphone before them?
How microphone sharing spreads germs
Microphones can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Microphones are used in front of our mouths. They are spit on, sneezed on and handled from the top down. The germs and viruses left on a microphone can remain infectious for as long as 48 hours or more depending on how much moisture is present on the windscreen and the age of the windscreen. The current health advisories regarding the multitude of flu viruses are not just cautionary but in many cases newsworthy due to their fatal effects.
Here is some basic information about viruses and bacteria and how there are transmitted.
Excerpted from the Mayo Clinic.
The length of time that cold and flu viruses can survive outside the body on an environmental surface varies greatly. But the suspected range is from a few seconds up to 48 hours, depending on the specific virus and the type of surface. Flu viruses tend to live longer on surfaces than cold viruses. Also, it is generally believed that cold and flu viruses survive for longer periods on nonporous surfaces — such as plastic, metal or wood — than they do on porous surfaces — such as fabric or paper. Although cold and flu viruses primarily spread from person-to-person contact, they can also spread from contact with contaminated objects or surfaces. The best way to avoid becoming infected with the cold or flu virus is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Other tips for staying healthy during cold and flu season include:
- Get a flu shot. This is the one of the most effective ways to prevent influenza.
- Regularly clean your desk, phone and computer keyboard and mouse — at home and at the office — with disinfectant sprays or wipes.
- Stay home if you’re sick. Don’t expose others to your germs by dragging yourself to the office, theater or PTA meeting.
The cause of strep throat is a bacteria known as Streptococcus pyogenes, or group A beta hemolytic streptococcus. Streptococcal bacteria are highly contagious. They can spread through airborne droplets when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes. You can also pick up the bacteria from a doorknob or other surface and transfer them to your nose or mouth. Kitchen utensils and bathroom objects are other common sources of infection transmission.
We Sanitize for Your Protection:
Freshwater Events cleans our microphones after every use as a courtesy for individuals that don't perform with a personal microphone. We wipe the barrel and screen down after each use with disinfecting wipes. We believe in taking care of our microphones the same way musicians take care of their instruments. If you are a performer and want to protect your voice and your health, you should be making certain your microphone has been sanitized.
You can rest assured that we endeavor to assure that all of the microphones at Freshwater Events are bacteria and virus free and sanitized in order to protect your health.
Does your other sound company do this for you?