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patient education

Strategies to Avoid the Flu

key information

source: Black Health Matters

summary/abstract:

It’s cold and flu season and the usual advice is being dispensed: Get the influenza vaccine, wash your hands regularly and avoid contact with anyone who’s already sick.

But is there anything else we can do?

“Most common illnesses are spread by your hands,” said Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona who has spent a career tracking germs everywhere from toilet seats and airplane trays to computer touch screens and hotel TV remote controls. “Hand hygiene is the most important thing you can do for yourself.”

He advocates washing hands or using sanitizer when coming home after a day of touching our germ-ridden world. Experts suggest other tactics to keep in mind during cold and flu season:

Get Enough Sleep
One study found people who get fewer than six hours of sleep at night are more susceptible to catching colds.

Disinfect Phones and Tablets
“You’re continually touching them along with other surfaces, which is great for moving germs around,” Gerba said. “You can use alcohol wipes on phones, and you should clean and sanitize them once a day.”

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