Flu PreventionNovember 19, 2018

Hand WashingOur October blog talked about the importance of receiving a yearly flu vaccine. This month, we will cover other ways in which people can protect themselves and others from spreading germs and respiratory illnesses, such as the flu virus.

1. Avoidance
When you are sick, stay away from others to prevent passing on the illness. When others are sick, avoid contact with them.

2. Handwashing
Washing your hands often helps protect you from germs. How should you wash your hands? The CDC has guidelines on the best handwashing technique to reduce the spread of germs…

    A. Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
    B. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
    C. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. This creates friction, which helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from the skin.
    D. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
    E. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

3. Covering Mouth & Nose
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Then dispose of the tissue in a wastebasket. This practice can help others around you from getting sick. The influenza virus and other serious respiratory illnesses are spread by coughing, sneezing, and unclean hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.

4. Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose, or Mouth
Germs are easily spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.

5. Practicing Good Health Habits
Other ways to promote wellness and decrease the spread of germs include cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at home, work, and school. Other healthy habits include getting adequate sleep, nutrition, and fluids. Managing stress and being physically active are more good health habits that can help you be better prepared to avoid becoming ill.