TENNESSEE VALLEY, (WHNT) – If you’ve been able to avoid getting the flu this season, consider yourself lucky. It hits you out of nowhere, making you feel miserable.
There are some tips to keep that lucky streak going.
According to Micheal Estremara, an infection specialist at Athens-Limestone Hospital, one of the best steps you can still take to avoid getting the flu is a flu vaccine. “There’s not a 100 percent chance you won’t get the flu. We’ve had several people who have gotten the shot, but did get the flu. But the symptoms are not going to be as bad as it would be if you had not gotten the flu vaccination.”
Other things to remember: Hand washing is your friend. It’s the number one step you can take to decrease germs.
Also, remember that germs are not just in the air or on your hands. Germs can linger on clothes for several hours. It’s a good idea to have your child change clothes when they get home. If they’re already sick, do their laundry in a separate load, using bleach and hot water. Some germs can be spread through fecal material. Keeping their laundry separate can decrease the spread to other family members.
The top ranking germ spots in your home are the computer desk, phone, remote control and countertops. Desktops have 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Wipe down all of these areas once a week. If someone in your home is sick, make it once a day with a cleaner that says “disinfect” or “sanitize” on the label.
It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to start working. According to the CDC, you shouldn’t get the vaccine if you’ve had a severe allergic reaction to it in the past or if you are currently ill.