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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 8 years ago

Seven tips to avoid the flu

Arm yourself as flu season worsens
by: Matilda Charles

This season’s flu just isn’t going away. It’s getting worse. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those requiring the most hospitalizations from the flu are seniors ages 65 and older. The most common underlying medical conditions include cardiovascular disease, obesity, lung disease and metabolic disorders.

Right on the heels of this bad news, however, a national network of caregivers has published a list of suggestions for avoiding the flu. If anyone knows about the flu, it’s the Visiting Angels (! They’ve created a “Fight the Flu Kit,” and their list makes sense:

• Paper towels: Use these in the bathroom or at the kitchen sink instead of hand towels, which can harbor germs.

• A forehead thermometer: No need to put anything in your mouth. Ask your pharmacist for brand recommendations.

• Hand sanitizers with aloe: sanitize hands without drying skin

• Pens: Carry your own in public when you have to sign something. Don’t touch something used by hundreds of others.

• Lysol spray: Use at home on doorknobs, handles and light switches (spray on a paper towel first). Visiting Angels recommends doing this once a week. I vote for once a day. The virus can live up to 48 hours on plastic and stainless steel.

• Hand soap: not necessarily antibacterial.

• Hand sanitizer wipes: Use on everything you touch out in public, like shopping-cart handles and seats, door knobs, sinks, telephones and library books. If you can’t sanitize it, wash your hands as soon as you can. (I hate to say it, but this might be the time to avoid libraries.)

With a little luck and a lot of common sense, we can get through this season without getting the flu!

Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send email to [email protected]

© 2013 King Features Synd. Inc.

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