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Health | Staying Well

Seven Tips to Avoid Flu

By Peter Johnson
April 17, 2009
When you rub your eyes after handling a contaminated doorknob, for example, the germs may travel to your nose and sinuses... 
The Sick Girl
The Sick Girl -Félix Vallotton (1892)

The flu virus becomes more widespread every year, however there are simple things you can do to avoid it. This article will list seven precautions to help prevent the flu.

1. Clean your hands with an alcohol based hand cleaner whenever you touch surfaces that may have come into contact with other people. The hand cleaner will kill the germs without having to wash with water, however, the germs may still be on your hands, and the hand cleaner will not remove soil, so you may still want to wash your hands with hot water and soap once it is convenient.

2. Do not contact your nose, eyes, or mouth with your hands. When you rub your eyes after handling a contaminated doorknob, for example, the germs may travel to your nose and sinuses to start an infection. Small children are particularly susceptible.

3. Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating. It is also a good idea to wash your hands after shopping at a mall, grocery store, etc. You could first use a hand cleaner to sanitize your hands, then after a few minutes wash your hands with hot water and soap to remove any remaining germs and soil.

4. Use a napkin or paper tissue to handle public surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, faucets, etc., and then dispose of it. The flu virus may stay on such surfaces for a while before it dies.

5. Avoid people who are sneezing or coughing. The mist particles produced by a cough or sneeze can travel up to 100 mph, and linger for a few minutes. If you see someone cough or sneeze, immediately get out of the area, and stay away for a short time until it clears.

6. If you have the flu, don’t spread it around. While this does not help you prevent the flu in the short-term, it does matter in the long-term. Every time you give the flu to someone else, your chances of getting it again later increases, because the flu virus lives and thrives on being shared and mutated.

7. In addition to the precautions above, there are several herbal and homeopathic medicines to stave-off or shorten the duration of the flu, such as Engystol, an immunomodulating homeopathic remedy from Heel-BHI; Echinacea, an herbal extract, and Sambucus, also known as elderberry.

While the only way to completely avoid the flu is to avoid civilization, the above recommendations might be helpful. The more people who continue to give in to the flu, the stronger and more widespread the virus gets. But if people avoid catching the flu, and avoid giving it to others, the virus would grow weaker until it is gone.

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