Germy villains are the enemy of handwashing, and we want to make them disappear down the drain!
Coal Eye Jake
Coal Eye Jake has big black coal eyes. He doesn’t work hard, eats anything that he finds and picks up garbage as he wanders the world. He drags around his signature scumbag, constantly spilling and spreading an assortment of creepy crawly creatures wherever he tromps. He represents bacteria and Escherichia coli.
E. coli can be found in almost every (warm-blooded) animal. So anytime we eat, drink or touch something that either has been a part of or has been near animals, there is always a chance E. coli can get inside our bodies and make us sick.
Influenza (the flu)
Wheezy Spew is a snotty, drippy mess who doesn’t move fast, but her nose is constantly running. She loves to wear active running gear like she might join a race somewhere, but the only thing running is her nose. She has a horrible habit of putting her finger up her nose just in case there is something interesting to find up there.
Influenza is called the flu for short. The flu makes it hard to breathe and sometimes even requires emergency care. It can also be spread from person to person if you cough or sneeze without covering your mouth and nose. So if you’re coughing or sneezing, make sure to cough/sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, and wash your hands often to help keep yourself and others from getting sick.
Stinky Sam and Shiggy
Salmonella and Shigella
Stinky Sam is a pirate cowboy who doesn’t like cooked food. He hates washing his hands and anything clean. He rides his horse Shiggy who always agrees with him. Shiggy is a stinky horse leaving his manure everywhere he goes. This pirate cowboy and horse team is happiest when you forget to use a thermometer on your cooked food or don’t wash your hands.
Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can form on all sorts of food that is either raw or taken out of the oven before being cooked all the way through – foods like eggs, chicken, milk and cheese, fish, fruits and veggies. That’s important to know because if you eat those types of foods and they have Salmonella on them, you might end up with a really upset tummy. Certain pets, such as turtles, snakes and other reptiles, and chicks and other birds, are more likely to carry Salmonella bacteria in their intestines. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after touching any pet or their droppings.
Like Salmonella, the Shigella germs are in the stool (poop) of sick people while they have diarrhea and for up to a week or two after the diarrhea has gone away. Shigella can also cause you to get an upset stomach. It can easily be passed from one person to another person because they didn’t wash their hands. This means it spreads quickly and a lot of people could get sick in a short time.
Mr. Crampy Pants
Mr. Crampy Pants is an old crabby germ with no time for cooked food or handwashing. He is always complaining or grumbling about stomach cramps or a headache. He can sometimes break wind in the most embarrassing moments. He is always saying “Why waste the fuel or energy to cook food properly?”
Campylobacter can make people sick if they eat foods like meat and poultry that is either raw or haven’t been cooked right. Drinking dirty water or raw milk that has not been heated to a high enough temperature to kill germs can also make you sick.
Nora wants to hug and kiss everyone, sharing her precious germs with every person, item and surface she touches. She is a social person who loves her phone, taking pictures and sharing them on social media. She wants everyone to eat off the same spoon or fork so you don’t have to wash more than one. As she always says “It’s all about sharing! I love viral!”
You can spread Norovirus by touching a surface or object that it is on and then putting your fingers in your mouth. Food and water can also be contaminated by Norovirus which means you can get sick from drinking or eating food containing the virus. You can also get Norovirus by being in direct contact with someone who is infected with it, by caring for them or sharing food, drinks or eating utensils with them.
Coughing Cora has a constant cough and is always spreading her germs wherever she goes. She has a bouncy nature and is very social. Her phlegm comes from her mouth and all her spouts so you may need a mask or a face shield when she is nearby.
Viruses include COVID-19 and others like it that can make you sick. COVID-19 is a new virus that scientists and doctors are still learning about. COVID-19 can affect people differently with many types of symptoms.
Viruses can spread easily by sneezing, coughing and even talking or singing! They can also spread from your hands touching your face, eyes or nose or even ready-to-eat food that has not been washed first. So, if you’re coughing, make sure to cough into a tissue or your elbow, and wash your hands often to help stop the spread of germs. If you don’t feel well, you should stay home to prevent sharing your germs with others!