Hygiene tips for the flu season

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sierra Halstead
  • 97th Medical Operations Squadron Public Health
With the New Year upon us, there are new ambitions, new beginnings, and the cold and flu season.  Public Health's New Year's resolution is to keep the base population free and clear of illness, but to do so, we need your help.

Germs can be spread in many ways, such as touching contaminated surfaces, consuming contaminated water and food, and through direct or indirect contact with a sick person. 

The easiest and most effective way to stop these germs in their tracks is to practice good hand hygiene.  Hand washing protects against the spread of many illnesses from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as meningitis, flu, Hepatitis A and most types of infectious diarrhea. 

Here's how to scrub those germs away.  Practice this routine while at work, and teach it to your children.  Or better yet, wash your hands together often so they learn how important this good habit is:

     1. Wash your hands in warm water.  Make sure the water isn't too hot for little hands.
     2. Use soap and lather up for about 20 seconds.  Make sure you get in between the fingers and under the nails where germs like to hang out, and don't forget the wrists!
     3. Rinse and dry well with a clean towel.

To minimize the germs passed around your family, make regular hand washing a rule for everyone, especially:
     · Before eating and cooking
     · After using the bathroom
     · After cleaning around the house
     · After touching animals, including family pets
     · Before and after visiting or taking care of any sick friends or relatives
     · After blowing one's nose, coughing or sneezing
     · After being outside (playing, gardening, walking the dog, etc.)

Don't underestimate the power of hand washing!  The few seconds you spend at the sink could save you trips to the doctor's office.  For any questions, or further information, please contact Public Health at 580-481-5488.