This flu season, it is important to use frequent hand washing as a primary way in which to avoid the flu. Washing your hands is of the utmost importance since flu germs can live on a surface for anywhere from a few minutes to upwards of 48 hours. Surfaces where the germs can survive longer include stainless steel, plastic, and other hard surfaces.
Take a moment to think about how many hard surfaces your hands come in contact with on a daily basis – doorknobs, cell phones, steering wheels, computer mice and keyboards, elevator buttons, the list is seemingly endless. Since personal contact is the most common way to spread the flu virus, hand washing remains your primary daily defense.
So, what is the proper way to wash hands? No, it does not mean a light drizzle of water for a couple seconds. Always use soap and water and rub hands together for 15-20 seconds (or about the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice).
If there is no soap and water available, the next best thing is to use a gel hand sanitizer. Just make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol. Good luck in avoiding the flu this flu season!