It’s that time of the year again, Heroes: flu season. Flu activity is increasing across the United States, and it turns out that activity is particularly high in my state. In fact, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health, there have already been 169 cases of the flu reported this season. Eek.
To help prevent the spread of flu, particularly H1N1 (swine flu), below are tips from Dr. Keri Peterson, a physician who specializes in preventative medicine and a medical contributor for Women’s Health Magazine.
Dr. Keri Peterson’s Flu Prevention Tips
As always, vaccination is the first step in flu prevention. However, even after getting vaccinated, it’s important for everyone to follow simple steps to help prevent the spread of the flu virus:
- Wash Hands Frequently: Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice).
- Disinfect Germ Hot Spots: The CDC recommends disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu. It is important to wipe germ hot spots around the house that are touched most frequently – like doorknobs, light switches, TV and game controllers, faucets, high chairs or plastic toys – with a household disinfectant, like Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes which kills 99.9% of germs* that can live on hard non-porous surfaces for up to 48 hours.
- Do the Elbow Cough: Cough and sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands to help prevent the spread of germs by touch.
- Follow Good Health Guidelines: Eat right, exercise and get plenty of sleep to help boost your body’s ability to fight the effects of colds and flu.
*Staphilococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli O157:H7 And Influenza A virus.