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Hand washing and other ways to avoid flu

Posted on October 15, 2017 at 6:20 AM

How flu is spread

- Most viruses are spread by contact with respiratory secretions (saliva and mucus that are expelled when a person coughs or sneezes)

- Virus particles can linger on inanimate objects (toys, surfaces, doorknobs, sink handles, phones, computers, etc)

- Flu is also airborne, meaning it can travel across a room


What a sick person can do to not infect others

- Cough/sneeze into their elbow or shirt (so particles don’t get onto hands)

- Wash hands after blowing nose, eating, and coughing/sneezing

- Avoid kissing family members on the face

- Avoid putting hands and toys into mouth

- Wear a face mask in crowded public places (stores, public transportation, offices, etc)


Hand washing

- Any time you touch your face, you can introduce germs into your eyes, nose, and/or mouth

- Wash hands after touching surfaces, and also before eating

- Wash for at least 30 seconds with regular soap (not antibacterial) and hot water

- Rub vigorously and make sure you get all surfaces (including between fingers and under nails)


Other preventive measures

- Vitamin C - an antioxidant that boosts your immune system

- Zinc - actually kills viruses on contact

- Echinacea and other herbs - trigger an inflammatory response to prime the immune system to fight off viruses

- Rest and decrease stress - stress can wear down your immune system; not only emotional stress but also physical exertion and exposure to elements (extreme and/or changing hot and cold temperatures)

- Change the bathroom towels and make sure sick family members have their own towel - this is the most common way viruses spread through houses!

- If many people around you are sick with flu, you can wear a mask

- Flu vaccine - can help decrease your chances of getting flu, and if you still get flu it can decrease the severity

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