MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Flu season is in full swing and seems to be spreading like wildfire but there are steps you can take to prevent the spread of the flu that go beyond washing your hands.
Autumn Thompson with Two Maids & a Mop of Montgomery, identified four of the germiest places in any given household, and how to clean them.
1. Door Knobs and handles – Most people who do wash their hands – don’t always do it the right way. A study by Michigan State University researchers found only five percent of people who used the bathroom, washed their hands long enough to kill germs that can cause infections. This means a lot of people are walking out of the bathroom and touchy the door and knobs with germs on their hands. Frequently use anti-bacteria wipes to wipe down door knobs, switches, even the handle you push to flush the toilet.
2. Hand Towels in a Bathroom – Bacteria grows in wet, moist areas. A microbiologist at the University of Arizona found more than 90% of bathroom towels he examined to be contaminated. Wash hand towels every two to three days or if you don’t want to frequently change out a hand towel, put out paper hand towels, instead.
3. Kitchen counters – The flu virus may live on a surface for up to 24 hours. Anyone who is infected can sneeze, cough or talk spreading infected droplets in the kitchen. Officials with the CDC say people with flu can spread it to others up to six feet away! Frequently wipe down kitchen counters even cabinets with a kitchen disinfectant that is effective against cold and flu viruses.
4. Remote Control – So many hands touch the TV remote, but when was the last time you cleaned it? It’s an easy fix. Dab a little alcohol on a cotton ball and get in between the buttons, you can also use any disinfectant wipe to clean your remote about once a week.
Flu cases are still on the rise in Alabama. According to state health officials the flu is considered a widespread in most of the state. And the CDC expects flu activity to remain high for a number of weeks. Last year, the flu killed 185 children, according to the CDC. That's the highest number of flu associated deaths in children ever recorded in one year.
The Alabama Department of Public health says of the most effective way to prevent catching the flu is to get the flu vaccine.