With outbreaks of cold and flu on the rise across the U.S., Americans are facing a seemingly impossible task of helping their families stay healthy this winter. As of last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 47 states have declared the incidence of flu to be regional or widespread in their communities and nearly 10,000 cases of H1N1 have been documented. With this seasonal illness coming to a head, are Americans truly aware of – and doing – all the things they can to combat cold and flu? As part of its Mission for Health, LYSOL® is committed to making sure the public is armed with the knowledge and tools to help keep themselves and their families healthy and safe.
"Keeping a family healthy can seem like a lofty goal during the peak of cold and flu season. What we have realized is that while people think they are doing what they can to prevent the spread of germs, they are missing some simple insider tips and tricks that can help keep them illness-free," said Gregory Chabidon, marketing director, LYSOL. "We are passionately dedicated to helping families understand all the ways they can prevent cold and flu and want to make staying healthy a reality for them by providing the necessary tools that will help them get through this cold and flu season."
One of the main education points focuses on surface disinfection. While Americans may understand that following the CDC's recommendation to routinely clean and disinfect commonly touched surface areas at home and at work can help prevent the transmission of cold and flu viruses, they may not know that not all cleaning products disinfect – which is the key to stopping illness in its tracks. In addition to routinely cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surface areas, the CDC recommends the following effective tips to help families stay healthy during peak flu activity:
• Get vaccinated with a seasonal flu shot – the most important step in preventing cold and flu.
• Help prevent the spread of flu germs by practicing proper cough and sneeze etiquette, staying away from sick people, and staying home if you get sick.
• Wash your hands with soap and water often, or use hand sanitizer if you do not have access to a sink.
Nevertheless, the reality is that the chance of coming in contact with cold and flu germs is quite likely during this time of year, but there are some insider tips and know-how that can minimize this risk and help families set themselves up for success, including:
• Taxis are the cleanest form of public transportation as compared to airplanes or rental cars, which are the least clean.
• The first bathroom stall in public restrooms is usually the cleanest.
• Bathroom taps harbor more germs than the toilet seat.
• The kitchen sink contains 100,000x more germs than a bathroom.
• The TV remote is one of the top places to transmit infections in the home.
• Light switches are some of the most frequently touched surfaces in the home.
• Staying indoors – and thus, in close contact with other people's germs – encourages cold and flu transmission more than being out in the cold, as is commonly believed.
• Stress taxes the immune system and can cause people to neglect sleep, healthy diet, and exercise, which ultimately makes them more vulnerable to getting sick.
Published with permission from RISMedia.