Keeping Healthy This Winter

According to the centers for disease control and prevention, the period of time when a person is contagious to another person all depends on their age and general health.  A person who is normally in general health can infect a person as early as one day prior to getting symptoms of illness themselves, to as late as 5 to 7 days after they become ill.  Young people and adults with a weakened immune system can be contageous for longer than a week.

Cold and flu viruses are spread from person-to-person contact or surface contact. The best possible way to say clear of these viruses is to wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.

The length of time cold or flu viruses can live on surfaces varies a lot but as a general rule – count on anywhere from a few seconds to 48 hours.

If there is more than one bathroom in the house, assign that one to anyone in the household who is ill.  This help in preventing the spread of germs to other family memebers.  Be sure all sinks, including kitchen, have plenty of soap and paper towels.  Encourage family members to use disinfectant wipes for doorknobs and faucet handles.  Put disinfectant wipes and alcohol-based sanitizers in rooms where the ill person is spending time.  If you get a hand sanitizer that contains a moisturizer, you can kill germs as well as keep your hands soft.

So many people go shopping and cough or sneeze into their hands.  Then they touch store products.  This spreads so many germs.  When you or your kids touch that product, depending on the germ and how long ago that item was touched, now you can become infected.  It is always a great idea to sneeze or cough into your shoulder instead of your hand.

Of course there is always the flu shot – it is approximately 70 to 80 percent effective in preventing flu.

Stay as healthy as you can this winter but remember, wash those hands everytime you come home, before you eat anything and after you touch anything out of your home.  If someone is not feeling good in the home, wash your hands often to prevent spreading the germs.


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