The CDC has recently reported that 41 states across the nation are reporting widespread influenza activity. Utah and many of its surrounding states made the list, meaning numerous families are suffering the the flu, or flu-like symptoms.
Each person can play a part in preventing the spread of the influenza virus
by taking these simple steps to heart:
- Get a flu shot - Even though it's the middle of winter, a flu shot can still be your best defense against contracting, and thus spreading the virus. To obtain your flu shot, find your nearest location.
- Wash your hands - Most people are taught to wash their hands immediately after using the bathroom. It doesn't hurt to wash your hands before meals, or after you've been in a very public location, like a grocery store, library, or even your work. A good hand sanitizer can also be helpful in killing any germs on your hands.
- Don't touch your face - The average person touches their face three to five times a minute. If you have germs on your hands and you rub your eye or touch your nose, you are potentially placing those germs in contact with your system.
- Cover your mouth - A cough or a sneeze can project germs from your body into the air. With the colder, drier winter weather, those germs can float in the air even longer, thus increasing the risk of potential exposure. If you're sick, cover your mouth with a tissue or cough into your elbow. Here are some additional methods for containing germs when you cough or sneeze.
- If you're sick, stay home - If you've got the flu, it's best to call in sick, or see if you can telecommute. Limiting your interactions with others can help limit the spread of the germs, thus protecting others from catching your illness. If your kids are sick, it's okay to quarantine them in their bedroom till they can get feeling better - it will hopefully reduce the number of bed sheets you have to clean if the germs spread from one child to the next.
Having the flu isn't any fun, but neither is knowing that you gave it to a friend, colleague or family member. A simple mantra to remember, "If it's wet and it's not yours, don't touch it unless you're wearing protective equipment (i.e., gloves)."