Staying germ-free: Unlikely places to consider disinfecting during flu season

Flu season is showing no signs of slowing down in Southwest Florida.

According to Lee Health, this the fourth straight week the hospitals have seen a spike in flu cases. Doctors have treated more than 50 cases over the last week and a total of 475 cases.

More: Daycare centers taking extra precautions during flu season

Experts say patients often catch the virus by things we touch on a regular basis. Germs can be lurking on grocery carts, cell phones and workspaces.

“If you touch your hands to a surface that’s been contaminated with the flu virus and then touch your mouth or nose, you can then become sick with influenza,” Lee Health Dr. Mary Beth said.

Now more than ever, doctors advise people to wipe down shopping carts and to wash their hands after using ATMS, store checkouts and gas pumps. Purses and cellphones should be disinfected too.

More: How to keep your smartphone germ-free

“The best thing to do is to get a bleach wipe or a wipe that is OK for that product,” Beth said. “Look at the label on the back, see how they recommend using that and how much time that surface needs to stay wet to adequately kill the germs.”

Doctors advise those who begin to feel sick to stay at home to avoid spreading the virus to others.

RESOURCES:

Influenza tracking map: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/usmap.htm

Flu shot locator: http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/prevention/flu-prevention/locate-a-flu-shot.html

Reporter:Andrea Henderson
SHARE