By Karina Avanesova, SONO Contributor
Karina Avanesova is a freelance writer and web developer. She has been a part of the SONO team for years.
The 2019 flu season started early this year in the US and hospitalizations are already being reported from coast to coast. So far, the CDC estimates there have been at least 2.6 million flu illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 1,300 deaths this year.
What’s so unusual about this flu season is the B/Victoria strain is the most prominent. Strains typically come early in the flu season with B strains arriving after December. Researchers and doctors are concerned this could mean we’ll have a longer flu season than normal.
B strains generally affect children and the elderly more than other groups. The CDC reports that 10 children have already died this year from complications related to the flu. Teaching them and the rest of your family how to decrease their chances of getting the flu this year is the best strategy to stay healthy.
Tips for Avoiding the Flu
The best way to escape the flu is by getting a flu shot. Doctors recommend to get it by October to be protected through the majority of the season, but it’s never too late if you haven’t done it yet.
Aside from the flu shot, you should be mindful of what you touch and wash your hands more often than normal. And try not to touch your face as well. Rubbing your eyes and nose, or placing your fingers around your mouth, are common ways to get infections.
Although it’s not always possible, try to stay away from anyone who is coughing, too.
It’s also a good idea to start taking your coffee mug home from your office to clean it. Research has shown that up to 90 percent of coffee mugs in offices are coated in germs, and the cleaning supplies in office kitchens are the primary reason why.
Office kitchens aren’t always maintained well, with employees sharing the responsibility to keep them clean. This results in the kitchen sponge being shared by everyone, and no one knowing exactly what it has been used to clean. That means you’re rubbing everyone’s germs and who knows what else all over your mug each time you clean it at the office. Yuck! So think twice if your coworker asks you to take a sip of eggnog from their cup during the holidays.
High-touch objects like cell phones, doorknobs, TV remotes, restaurant seats, light switches, computer keyboards, and mice are also among the most germ-infested surfaces we encounter. Many of these items don’t get cleaned regularly, so it’s best to make a disinfecting checklist to use in your home, office, and car. Then set a schedule and stick to it.
If you have children or multiple people in your home, you can make copies of the checklist and delegate disinfection responsibilities to everyone. It can get tedious wiping light switches and doorknobs in every room, so a little help goes a long way.
Regularly cleaning and disinfecting these places with SONO disinfecting wipes will go a long way toward keeping you and your family healthy through flu season. They kill 99.99% of viruses, including the flu virus, so you can relax by knowing it’s safe to touch everything in your home and office.