Germs can cause illness. Germs are on things that we touch every day, and can be transmitted by touching people and surfaces. If you are using a surface like a kitchen counter or a sink to prepare food, you should disinfect or sanitize those areas and wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparation. Similarly, if you have someone in your home who is more susceptible to infection, sanitizing or disinfecting areas that are commonly touched may decrease their risk of contracting an infection. This is especially important during cold and flu season when there is a heightened level of infectious illness in the community.