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A Powerful Medicine

2013 January 10

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By Lina Younes

Haga clic en la imagen para unirse a la conversación en nuestro blog en español… ¡No olvide de suscribirse!

I’ve been following recent reports on the flu outbreak across the United States. While seasonal influenza usually peaks in January and February, this year emergency rooms across the country have been reporting an increased number of hospitalizations of patients with severe flu-like symptoms early in the season. So what can people do to protect themselves? Well, first of all, if you haven’t done so already, you should get the vaccine for this year’s seasonal flu. Furthermore, good hygiene practices are powerful tools to stay healthy during flu season and year round.

What are some of the preventive measures that you should take immediately?

  • Wash your hands well and often.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing. Preferably cough into your elbow.
  • When you use a tissue, throw it away and then wash your hands, again.
  • In the absence of soap and water, you may use a hand sanitizer to clean your hands.
  • If you are sick with the flu, stay home. Don’t spread your germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Other healthy habits: eat well, drink plenty of fluids, get enough sleep, and stay active.

I can’t reiterate enough the importance of washing your hands to prevent getting the flu. Did you know that the flu virus can live between two to eight hours on a hard surface? That might make you think twice when touching some items shared by many people like a door knob, elevator buttons, an office phone, a computer keyboard, public bathrooms, etc. Personally, what I’ve been doing lately after I wash my hands in a public bathroom is that I take the same paper towel that I used to dry my hands to open the bathroom door and/or press the elevator button. While I haven’t done an official science experiment on this issue, I have noticed that I have had fewer colds since I adopted that common practice. It has definitely worked for me. Hope it works for you, too.

Do you have any healthy tips that you would like to share with us? My parting words of wisdom: wash your hands! Stay healthy.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA. She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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19 Responses leave one →
  1. web hosting ( ) permalink
    January 11, 2013

    easy and effective procedure. pepole must follow.

  2. กระดาษ permalink
    January 13, 2013

    I have noticed that I have had fewer colds since I adopted that common practice. It has definitely worked for me. Hope it works for you, too.

  3. Lina-EPA permalink*
    January 14, 2013

    Thanks for your comments. These are basically good hygiene tips. Hope they work for everyone.

  4. Dan G permalink
    January 17, 2013

    This is stellar advice. I printed it out for my employees.

  5. Sarawic ( permalink
    January 17, 2013

    Great article i agree with you.

  6. Lina-EPA permalink*
    January 23, 2013

    Thanks, Dan
    Good hygiene practices will keep us all safe. Cleaning desk tops often will also help.
    Have a nice day,

  7. Cookies shop ( permalink
    January 25, 2013

    great article. clean living can save a lot of hospital charges

  8. permalink
    January 28, 2013

    Thank you very much .i read interrest thisweb

  9. Lilian permalink
    February 1, 2013

    Great article and thank you

  10. Lina-EPA permalink
    February 5, 2013

    Thanks for all your comments. Just takes a minute to wash your hands and make sure things are clean! Children might need a friendly reminder in order to develop good hygiene habits early!

  11. permalink
    March 14, 2013

    Great article and thank you

  12. BOX permalink
    March 24, 2013

    pepole must follow it ! :)

  13. Hrushikesh permalink
    April 27, 2013

    Great article…!!!

  14. permalink
    May 2, 2013

    its very good

  15. permalink
    May 10, 2013

    Nice good article

  16. permalink
    July 9, 2013

    Written in the follow-up of this topic I got completely agree.

  17. permalink
    July 25, 2013

    Written in the follow-up of this topic I got

  18. Siverek permalink
    August 31, 2013

    Thanks for the excellent post.

  19. Samantha permalink
    September 28, 2013

    Excellent article, very well written and enjoyable to read.
    Thank you!

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