Watch What You Touch During Cold and Flu Season | Health

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Watch What You Touch During Cold and Flu Season
Health
Watch What You Touch During Cold and Flu Season

 

With the start of flu season here, it’s time to start thinking about staying healthy. Nothing can ruin the holidays like a bad case of the flu. Memorial Hospital Medical Director Dr. Gary Winfield says the best thing you can do is get a flu shot. “The flu shot is our best weapon against the flu,” Dr. Winfield said. “It can prevent you from getting the flu, or if you do get it, it can make your symptoms less severe.”

Beyond getting a flu shot, you should watch what you’re touching. The flu virus is present on things we touch throughout the day. A new study shows us just how many germs are out there. The Healthy Workplace Project tested several public surfaces and found high contamination levels on:

•             71% of gas pump handles

•             68% of mailbox handles

•             43% of escalator rails

•             41% of ATM buttons

•             40% of parking meters

•             35% of crosswalk buttons

“Think about it,” Dr. Winfield says. “You touch one of these items and then you touch your face. At that point you are really putting yourself at risk for getting sick, or you can pass those germs on to someone else.”

Dr. Winfield’s advice is to wash your hands frequently, and maybe even carry sanitizer. “Just use common sense, and make sure to talk to your kids about proper hygiene. They will be touching desks, door knobs, and computers throughout the school day. Anything someone else is touching has the potential to carry the flu virus.”

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