3 People Who Can Make You Sick

Cold and flu germs are everywhere. Even if you're a germaphobe like me, who's constantly washing their hands, it's still possible to get sick. And the risk is even higher now that cold and flu season is in full swing. Did you know you can be infected by a sick person coughing or sneezing from 3-feet away? And you can pick up their germs by touching whatever they’ve touched?

It's true. And that's why I'm passing along some tips on where those nasty germs hide and how you can protect yourself. So, grab your hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes, and watch out for these three people you’re most likely to catch a cold from:

  • The grocery cashier. If they’re sick, they’ve got the virus on their hands. And they can pass it on by touching anything you’re going to handle - from your credit card, to the receipt they hand you, to the box of cereal you’re buying. And the moment you touch your nose or eyes, you’re infected. That’s because cold and flu germs are mostly spread through hand-to-mouth contact. You can lower your risk by self-swiping your credit card. Don’t forget to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after you’ve touched that checkout keypad and after you’ve finished using the grocery cart.
  • A boss, or coworker. People with the cold or flu release tiny, germy droplets as they speak, which can remain suspended in the air for hours. Pretty gross, right? To stay healthy, stand as far away from sick people as possible and don’t get into a confined space with them - like an elevator - because the lack of air circulation makes germs linger. Plus, those elevator buttons are a germ magnet, so you may want to take the stairs. But watch out because the elevator buttons aren't the place where germs like to live - doorknobs, rails and banisters are smothered in germs, too.
  • Your partner. Sharing your living space with a sickie drastically raises your chances of getting sick. Wash your hands frequently. And clean commonly touched surfaces, like faucet handles, light switches and the remote control. Until your partner’s better, you might want to sleep on the couch, so you don’t breathe in their germy breath all night. And it may seem like a given, but sharing any food or drinks should be off limits as well.

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