Knowing the hotspots for germs can help you make it through the height of flu season
Though the people of Savannah and the Low Country are blessed with warm spells in winter, they still tend to spend more time indoors on colder days. As with our snow-covered counterparts up north, one result of more people spending time together inside is a rise in flu activity.
“The spread of germs is more effective in enclosed areas,” says Felicia G. Carr, MD, a new physician at St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Medical Group—Eisenhower who is board certified in Family Medicine. “People need to be aware of the indoor places that other people with the flu may have touched, such as doorknobs, telephones, computer keyboards, and bathroom fixtures.”
Most people can’t actually avoid touching these germy spots, but the solution is a simple one—wash your hands.
“Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds can help prevent the spread of germs,” Carr says. “Try to use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the other primary way that flu viruses spread is through the touching or inhalation of droplets that escape other people when they sneeze, cough, or talk. The most effective step a person can take against these airborne germs is to get a flu vaccine at the beginning of the season, which can come as early as October.
The population of this area can now see the way down from the peak of flu season, but the length of the journey can be influenced by the preventative methods that people apply now. The CDC reports that flu activity can sometimes continue to April and May, but by then the only thing a southerner should be spreading is sunscreen.