Ill Woman Looking At Thermometer

How to Protect Yourself from the Flu

To stay healthy, use credit cards

Every year, only about a third of U.S. adults get a flu shot. While most seniors do get vaccinated, about 35 percent do not. This can have severe consequences because seniors are more likely to be hospitalized or die of the flu if not vaccinated.   (See Canadian Stats Below)

Approximately 80,00 deaths occur in the U.S. each year as a result of the flu. Additionally, nearly one million people are hospitalized because of the flu virus every year. 1

If these statistics don’t encourage you to get vaccinated and you still want to take your chances, here are some things you should know about the flu virus to protect yourself from getting sick:

  • Try to stand at least six feet away from people when in conversation. The flu virus is spread by droplets created when someone with the illness coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • If someone in your home or a worker in your office has the flu, raise the temperature of the room. According to the U.K.s National Health Services, the flu virus survives longer in cooler temperatures.2
  • The surfaces to avoid in a work area are “touch points,” such as counters and tables, chair tops, doorknobs, light switches, and kitchen appliance handles. The virus can live two days on these surfaces.
  • Surfaces to be less concerned about are human hands. The flu virus only lives a few minutes on human skin.
  • Always use credit cards. While the flu virus can live on credit cards for a few hours, on paper money, it can survive up to 72 hours and if mixed with human mucus, up to 17 days.

One final point to note: “We must also remember it is not just ‘touch points,’ like door handles and chair tops, that get contaminated with the virus,” says Brad Evans, CEO of OptiSolve, an imaging technology service that detects hidden pathogens.

“Using imaging technologies, we have discovered viruses, germs, and bacteria on far larger areas surrounding these surfaces, which, if touched, can increase the odds of someone contracting the virus.”

Canadian Stats3:

Each year in Canada, it is estimated that influenza causes approximately:

12,200 hospitalizations
3,500 deaths
34 percent get flu shots

Government of Canada

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/infections/how-long-do-bacteria-and-viruses-live-outside-the-body/
  3. Government of Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/flu-influenza/health-professionals.html



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