Tens of millions of North Americans will get the flu this year. and 300-thousand will end up in the hospital. Most outbreaks occur between October and May – and the peak months are between December and March. So here’s how to flu-proof your home, office, and car, according to the Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
- Kids, grandkids, and spouses who work away from home are most likely to bring the flu virus home. So avoid sharing silverware, glasses and kisses with a family member who’s feeling a bit rundown. People are most contagious 2 days before the flu fully hits. Also, use disinfectant wipes on surfaces everybody touches – doorknobs, drawer handles, phones and remote controls. We’ve talked about how germy remote controls are at hotels? Same goes at home. And if your kid is sick, wipe down their toys or stick them in the freezer overnight. That’ll kill the germs.
- On to the car. When you share a ride with someone, you’re also sharing the air in a small, enclosed space. If one of you has the flu at the beginning of a short trip, by the end, you both will. So flu-proof your car by encouraging sick carpool members to stay home. If you did share your car with a sicky within the last 48 hours, go to the doctor and get a flu jab. If you let someone else drive your car, even a valet parker, use disinfectant wipes on the door handle, steering wheel, shift, parking brake, radio controls, and window buttons.
- Now, the biggest flu threat at work is the sick employee who came to work anyway. So don’t share office supplies – pens are the biggest culprit because people put them in or on their mouths without even thinking. Always carry your own pen. Also, you can’t wipe down everything at work – so just wash your hands often, especially after being in the elevator, using the fax machine, water fountain, and shared computers or phones. You’ve just pushed the same germy buttons that the office sicky did. Also, it may seem odd, but if you’re right handed, try handling food, giving handshakes, and touching things with your left hand only. You’re less likely to touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your non-dominant hand – and those are the most common points of entry for the flu virus.