November 4, 2011
Most people in Austin don’t wake up one day in October and say “Gee, I sure would like to get the flu today”. Sounds crazy right? Who would want to get the flu on purpose? Believe it or not though, as bad as having the flu in Austin is, most people are not taking the precautions they could be to keep from coming down with such nasty sounding things as Swine Flu or Bird Flu. Want proof? Read on.
Think about this: how many things do you touch every day? Think about it, and try to put a number on it. Take your time, we’ll wait. Got a number? I bet you’re short. It’s almost certain you’ve missed a key thing you touch up to 600 times per day. Your face! It’s said that the average person touches their face three to five times per minute (I’ve touched mine twice since I started writing this sentence), and that means trouble in flu season. See, the flu spreads by entering your mucous membranes, like the ones found in your mouth and nose. When you touch things like doorknobs, sinks, door frames and such that have been also touched by people carrying the flu, you give the flu virus a fast track into your body by carrying it directly to your face. What does this mean for you?
Simple: reduce the number of times you touch your face, and reduce the number of times you touch these kinds of surfaces, and you dramatically reduce your chance of getting the flu. Here are some tips:
- Take care at exits, and don’t touch with your hands if you can help it. Studies have shown that the flu virus can live on surfaces for up to eight hours. That’s plenty of time for you to get the flu, and then take it home to your family.
- Wash your hands frequently. Washing your hands for at least 30 seconds with lots of soap is a powerful tool against getting the flu in Austin. Now, don’t go touching a lot of doors after you wash! Back out of doors, use a napkin to open, etc...
- Use hand sanitizer. Carry it in your car, purse and at work. Learn it, love it, live it.
Now, nothing takes the place of getting a flu shot in Austin for preventing the flu, and none of this is meant to say that you can do it in place of getting a flu shot. However, there’s no reason you should carry around a flu virus to give to others who have not had the flu shot, right?
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