Here are a few simple steps to help stave off infection this flu season.
Nearly 45,000 saliva droplets are propelled from a typical sneeze. Hitching a ride on the saliva are millions of viruses.
Viruses shoot into the air as far as a few feet away. They can survive for hours on paper including money ... even days on door knobs and countertops.
Here's your master plan to fight the flu:
- Get your annual flu vaccine. Get your flu shot at your local pharmacy, doctor's office or walk-in clinic.
- Get your flu shot as soon as vaccines are available; this year's shot includes the H1N1 strain.
- Always, always wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
- Twist and wring warm soapy water around for at least 20 seconds. It's longer than you think, so sing "Happy Birthday" twice to make sure.
- Get your vitamin C. Try sweet red and green peppers, guava, kale and kiwi.
- Avoid sharing phones, keyboards, or allowing your kids to swap toys.
- When you sneeze or cough, do it in the crook of your elbow or into a tissue that's immediately thrown away.
- Don't rub your eyes, mouth, or pick your nose. Germs enter through the mucous membranes.
- Coat your nasal passages with petroleum jelly to create a barrier. This helps when you dry out, particularly during plane travel.
Finally, stay at home when you're sick and do your friends a favor.