Wednesday, September 24, 2008
How to Stay Healthy in Flu Season
We are experiencing a glorious Indian Summer in Northern California, but Autumn is in the air and I can see some leaves starting to turn golden. When the weather changes, I know viral illnesses such as influenza and colds are also lurking and are just around the corner.
The most common reason for school and work absenteeism is a viral "cold". We call them "upper respiratory infections" and there are over a hundred different cold viruses. Influenza is also a virus and is passed from person to person in much the same way as a cold...via hands, touch, surfaces and droplets in the air from sneezing. Eighty percent of infectious illnesses are passed by touch.
One of the cheapest and most effective sanitizers for cleaning surfaces is bleach. Master chefs know this secret and use bleach to clean their cooking surfaces. Just mix a solution of 1 part bleach with 2 parts water in a spray bottle and you are ready to kill the cold virus and other bacteria.
Parents: Most teachers have to buy their own school cleaning supplies. Give your kid's teacher a spray bottle with the bleach solution and a roll of paper towels and and she can wipe down surfaces at school. Hand sanitizers in every classroom are also helpful. Better yet, form a parents cleaning work team and volunteer to periodically help clean the classroom. Visit "Clorax Classroom" for more tips.
Protect yourself by washing your hands several times throughout the day. Keep a hand sanitizer at your desk at work and use it frequently. Use that bleach solution to wipe door knobs, light fixtures and any surface that has multiple people touching it.
A little bit of prevention may go a long way in allowing all of us to avoid the misery of a cold. Wash away!
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 7:00 AM