With the flu spreading so fast this season, it is time to think more seriously about how to avoid getting it. Especially since the 2013 epidemic statistics have prompted NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday to start letting the average pharmacists give babies as young as six months a vaccination for it.
Want to know how to avoid the serious and contagious illness? The following medical personnel are weighing in with the answers.
Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center told Fox News that the simplest way to avoid getting one of the viruses circulating around this time of the year is to use good hand hygiene. In other words, wash your hands frequently, which gets rid of germs you get from touching contaminated surfaces where germs lurk, like money, door knobs, and office equipment at work. Schaffner also says that people should stay at home if they get sick, instead of going to work or around family members, spreading the illness to them.
The CDC says that washing hands with soap and water is necessary, but if neither is available, then an alcohol-based hand rub can also be used to cut down on germs. The Atlanta-based agency also said it is important to remember that using the same hand towels or other linens being used by a sick person can spread the influenza viruses, too, as well as sharing eating utensils and dishes.
In addition, hard surfaces in the home, school, and office should be cleaned daily to remove germs. And when forced to be in contact with others, remember that a cough, sneeze, or spit excreted during talking can travel in the air up to six feet. Those droplets can be inhaled, touched, or land on the eyes, mouth, or nose, causing the start of the infection process.
So take note of the things that can be done to avoid the viruses making the rounds this year, preventing the likelihood you or your family will become a 2013 epidemic statistic, since the CDC's recent virus report shows the vaccine may not be working as well as they had hoped.
(1918 Epidemic photo credit: Public Domain)