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How To Avoid The Flu

25 Oct

Admit it: flu season is here, and you want to know how to avoid the flu. If you haven’t succumbed to an allergic reaction or mild cold due to the seasonal change, consider yourself blessed. Continue that pattern of good health by following a few simple tips to avoid the full-blown flu. Symptoms of the flu are more extreme than a simple cold; the flu hits suddenly and includes a high fever, sweating, chills, headache, severe fatigue, optional vomiting, nasal discharge and a cough.

1. WASH YOUR HANDS!

There is no simpler way to avoid germs than to wash your hands properly. Stop and consider all the surfaces your hands touch throughout the day, then consider how many of those surfaces are able to hold the flu germs. Both lists are endless. Wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, before and after eating, after wiping your eyes or nose, after dealing with baby diapers or pet waste, after handling a pet and whenever they are sticky or soiled. Washing your hands after each of these activities doesn’t necessarily wash away flu germs, but it does wash away any germs which will reduce your immune defenses, allowing the flu a free pass to your body. When you wash your hands, turn on the water and pass both hands under the faucet. Apply a liberal amount of antibacterial soap to the hands. Rub the hands together, covering the wrists, palms and each finger with plenty of lather. Place the tips of your fingers on the palm of the opposing hand and gently scratch your palm with your nails. This lathers underneath the nails as well as foaming the palm. Rub around each finger cuticle. Rinse thoroughly and use a paper towel to not only turn off the faucet but also to open any public bathroom doors. Again, consider how many people don’t care for their hands after using the bathroom. You’ll want to avoid touching that door.

2. USE LYSOL

Use a Lysol-type spray or wipe on any shared surfaces at work or at home. The idea is to rid the tactile surface of any germs, so use the spray or wipe alternately for different surfaces. For example, use a disinfectant spray carefully on a keyboard to allow the spray to reach the crevices between the keys. Use a disinfectant wipe on a table or desk surface. It is essential to clean off any communal objects, even if they are non-porous or sealed. Desks, keyboards, a mouse and mousepad, cups, coffee makers, pens – the list is endless. Clean, clean, clean before you use and avoid picking up those nasty germs.

3. USE A TISSUE TO RUB YOUR EYE

We all rub our eyes throughout the day for various reasons. Rather than use your finger to satisfy that itch, grab a disposable tissue to avoid the flu. If you forget to clean a surface or don’t thoroughly clean your hands, those germs will grab the mucus membranes in your eye and wreak havoc in your body. Wrap the tissue around your finger and carefully rub it along the part of the eye causing irritation. Be sure to move from the outer edge to the inner edge. The eye naturally cleans itself and deposits waste at the inner corner, closest to the nose. Moving from the inside to the outside of the eye drags this waste into the eye, which is cause for infection. Again, an infection lowers the immune system and invites the flu into your body. Make sure you use the tissue from the outside in toward the nose.

4. GRAB A BOTTLE OF HAND SANITIZER

Stores such as Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, and Bath and Body Works sell tiny bottles of hand sanitizer. Buy one of these bottles and keep it in your purse or pocket. Don’t worry guys, there are some more manly, or even unscented, varieties. It is important to use this bottle when you cannot reach a sink to wash your hands, such as when you must shake hands before a meeting or you are switching between shared surfaces with no time to clean. The most important tip under this heading, however, is to NOT SHARE THIS BOTTLE! Sorry ladies, but we are largely at fault here. We share with our friends without a second thought. Give this little bottle more thought when your friends ask for some. Either say no or pour the product into their hand for them. Do not let someone else handle that bottle – it defeats the purpose of keeping your hands germ-free. Also, avoid the communal hand sanitizer bottles provided by some bathrooms or companies. Many hands have touched that dispenser, leaving a laundry list of germs for you.

Purell makes a full line of sanitizing products.

5. PERSONALIZE EVERYTHING

Think about how many times you grab the cashier’s pen to sign your debit card receipt. Even worse are the electronic pens we all use at the cashier’s station. Try to avoid this situation by following that electronic pen with the hand sanitizer and by carrying your own pen. Think about a typical day for you and determine what you can realistically carry with you that will be exclusively for you. For example, that pen – keep your own pen with you and do not lend it out. This will avoid germ sharing typically found with sharing pens. Other items which need to be kept personalized are combs, eyeglasses, toothbrushes, jewelry, timepieces, cell phones, purses and wallets. Be stubborn about letting others use these items; these are YOURS and yours alone if you truly want to avoid the flu. Use the wipes and spray on those pesky “must be shared” items.

6. LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER

I cannot count the number of times I tell my daughter in the store, “Look with your eyes not with your hands.” Some people are naturally tactile, “look with your hands” shoppers – they touch everything in the store. My daughter and I are both tactile shoppers. Avoid catching flu germs from people like us by leaving your hands off the displays in the stores. Make sure to buy the boxed version and never the discounted display model if you are trying to avoid germs. If you must buy the display model, insist that it is wrapped at the store for transport then clean it immediately after unwrapping at home. Be especially careful around the holidays – merchants count on people touching their products to create an emotional bond with the product. Combine this with the natural flu season, and you’ve got double trouble.

Be careful this season, and stay healthy. If you have any other surefire flu avoiding tips, please comment below! Let’s all learn how to avoid the flu together!

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2 Responses to “How To Avoid The Flu”

  1. P2P4U November 11, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!ā€¦

  2. Light November 24, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    Good post! i love it, please bookmark this page in digg or mixx so that everybody could find it easily. šŸ™‚ Thankee for sharing this info. You guys are doing a wonderful job

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