TAKING ACTION: As flu continues to take hold, time for a deep clean

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - As flu continues to take hold, causing school cancellations around the Tennessee Valley, experts say a deep clean may be in order to keep the virus from spreading.

State officials say it's too soon to tell whether the flu season is at its peak yet. Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health says the department is investigating 87 adult deaths to determine if they are flu-related.  She says they will look at factors like medical records and underlying conditions to make the decision. Meanwhile, the department confirmed that 2 children died from the flu this season in Alabama.

The virus is still widespread throughout the state, according to Dr. Landers. That's why she urges you to take preventive measures and do whatever you can to stay virus-free while protecting your family too. The department has a list of things you can do prevent the flu here.

If someone in your home or at your work has the flu or if you are worried you may be next, it's time for a serious clean.

Courtney Fitchard, owner of the Huntsville cleaning service Clean Supreme, says it's all about the disinfectant: "A generous amount on the surface," she recommended. "We use a lot of disinfectant."

She says you should look at the instructions for whatever product you are using and wait the appropriate amount of time for the disinfecting agent to work, then rub everything down from surfaces to common areas.

"Definitely their kitchens, their bathrooms," she listed. "Light switches. Keyboards." She said doorknobs are other spots to target.

Health experts say still one of the most effective ways to prevent getting sick, is a good hand washing. Fitchard says the secret to making sure hands are clean is to sing 'Happy Birthday.'

"That's the amount of time it should take to wash your hands thoroughly," she stated. She says it's best to use paper towels instead of hand towels because they are disposable and you don't have to share them with sick family members.

While tending to a sick loved one, a mask may come in handy too.

"It's best to protect yourself while you're trying to keep them healthy," she explained.

For more influenza tips and information, click here.