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Five Ways to Avoid Getting a Virus

Viruses have been making news lately, and the truth is there is more than one virus out there that can infect you. Some of these viruses are entirely avoidable. So, if you want to keep from getting sick, here are five ways to avoid getting an virus infection.

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Washing Hands

There is a reason doctors’ scrub in before performing surgery. Washing your hands will eliminate any viruses with which you come in contact. This fact has been known for well over a century. For hand-washing to be effective, you need to use hot (but not scalding) water and scrub hard. Much in the same way that the song “Staying Alive” is used to pace CPR compression’s, the song “Happy Birthday” (the traditional song, not the Beatles or Stevie Wonder) is used to time washing your hands. Sing Happy Birthday to yourself twice while washing your hands to ensure that the proper amount of time has elapsed to remove all viruses and bacteria that could make you sick. You need to wash your hands with high frequency if you are around someone who is ill. It is an excellent policy to wash your hands if you have come into contact with someone in public even if they don’t appear sick. People often carry viruses when no symptoms are visible yet, so it is best to be cautious.

Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer

Just as there is a reason that doctor’s scrub in, there is a reason hospitals use hand sanitizer. If you have stayed or visited someone in a hospital, you probably noticed the hand sanitizer dispensers in the halls and each room. The reason is that hand sanitizer works. It kills cold and flu germs on contact. So, just like nurses who use hand sanitizer after coming into contact with each patient, you should carry some with you. Each time you shake someone’s hand or touch a surface that others may have touched such as railing take out your hand sanitizer and use it.

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Avoid Crowds.

If there is a viral outbreak, avoiding crowds is an effective way to combat catching it. All that is needed here is a little common sense. Don’t use public transportation such as a subway, bus or plane. Avoid vacations such as going to an amusement park or taking a cruise until the outbreak has subsided. Obviously, if there is an outbreak in a geographical area, avoid it. If you live in an area where an outbreak is happening and you can get out of town for a few days, then take advantage of it.

Get a Flu Shot

Getting a flu shot is a highly effective way to avoid getting the dreaded virus. A flu shot early in the season will help you to avoid catching it when the height of flu season occurs. While a flu shot can stop most flu viruses, they do mutate and will not stop them all. That being said, a flu shot often will reduce the length and severity of a mutated virus.

Keep it Clean

Keeping your home and where you work clean is a great way to avoid catching something. Many viruses can live outside the body for an hour or more. If you touch a surface where a live virus is such as a desk or table and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes, you can contract it.  Make sure to clean your home and work area with a germ-killing disinfectant. If nothing else is available, soap and water can be used. If you are at work and want to quickly kill any germs that may have landed in your area, use an aerosol disinfectant such as Lysol. Spray the entire area to before you return to work.

A Note on Face Masks

Using a face mask may or may not help avoid getting a virus, but it is dependent on the mask’s porousness. Experts have varying opinions on the effectiveness of the face masks to prevent contracting a virus. It really is up to you if you want to take this additional step or not.

So, with a little vigilance catching a virus is avoidable.

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