Published Date: 09/15/2014
By Reneé Watkins
It is that time of year – back to school in full swing, meet the teacher, Friday night football, college football, Christmas decorations before Labor Day, so hurry to the mall, all of which provides for a great deal of close contact and interaction with people and germs.
It seems today that everywhere we go; whether it is the grocery store, movie theater, restaurant, doctor’s office or the mall, we are seeing sterile cleanser dispensers. Fighting the spread of germs is on everyone’s mind these days and doing whatever we can to combat this battle is the main game plan. In fact, I am willing to bet that many of us carry a travel-sized sterile cleanser in our briefcase, purse or car. Bottom line – we are geared for battle and willing to take whatever steps needed to stop the spread of germs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an excellent resource of information on how to combat the spread of germs. They have created their “What You Should Know for the 2014-2015 Influenza Season” website, which you can find at http://j.mp/flu-14.
A few simple, common sense suggestions include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Keep your distance from others when you are sick
- Stay home from work, school or shopping when you are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of germs
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands
The best way to avoid becoming infected with a cold or flu virus is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol-based sanitizer. Also avoid rubbing your eyes or biting your nails. Most importantly — get a flu vaccine every year.
The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone. This is the most important step in protecting yourself. The current flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season: H3N2 virus, Influenza B virus and H1N1 virus. Studies show that the flu vaccine creates a strong immune response in most healthy adults eight to 10 days after a single dose. Many pharmacies and physicians already have a supply of the new vaccine for this season, so please encourage your employees, family and friends to avoid the rush and schedule an appointment today.