Seasonal flu will be upon us soon, and more communities will be affected this fall and winter by the H1N1 virus than in the spring and summer of this year’s outbreak. Severity of the H1N1 outbreak will be hard to determine, so you need to plan your strategies to protect against illness.
The most important way to help prevent exposure to the flu is by washing your hands regularly. It is important to remember that hand washing is more than using soap and water or using alcohol based products. You need to know how and when to wash your hands.
How to wash your hands:
- Wet your hands with warm water
- Apply soap and rub your hands together for at least 10-15 seconds. Wash the front and back of hands and wrists, between fingers and under nails
- Rinse well. Let water run down your fingers – not down your arms
- Dry hands with a paper towel, but leave the water running
- Use elbows or a new paper towel to turn off faucets
When to wash your hands:
- Whenever hands become obviously soiled
- After contact with blood, body fluids, mucous membranes or non-intact skin
- Before putting on or after removing protective medical gear
- Before and after a work shift
- After handling contaminated equipment or articles
- After using the toilet, blowing your nose, covering a sneeze, etc.
- Before eating, drinking or handling food
- Before and after smoking