6 tips to help stop the spread of cold and flu germs

1/24/2018

ROCK SPRINGS – Flu activity is widespread across the United States, including Wyoming.

We visited with Sarah Roth, Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County director of Infection Prevention and Employee Health, to get a few tips on how to keep you and your family healthy this flu season. 

Here are a few tips for stopping the spread of cold and flu germs:

1.  First and foremost, get a flu shot if you are able. Even though the shot this year is about 32% effective, it is still helping those that contract the flu to have a less severe course. Flu shots are still available and take about two weeks after administration to be fully protective.

2. Wash your hands. It’s been at the top of the list for a long time, and still holds true today. It is the single most important action you can take to stop germs in their tracks. Scrub for 20 seconds. If it helps, sing “Happy Birthday” – that’s about how long a good handwashing should take. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. 

3. Don’t touch! Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re sick, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away immediately. At the very least cover your cough with a hand or an elbow.

4. Ditch the toothbrush. If you’re sick, keep your toothbrush away from those used by other family members. Once you’re well, throw out your old toothbrush in place of a new one.

5. Keep it clean. Launder any bed linens, washcloths and towels frequently in hot water. Clean out the humidifier at least weekly, wiping it down inside until it’s dry. Any high touch areas such as TV removes, doorknobs, light switches and computer keyboards need to be wiped down often.

6. Isolation. It sounds worse than it is. First, try to avoid close contact with sick people, according to the CDC. If you or a loved one are sick, stay home. The CDC recommends that you stay home for a least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm

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