5 Germiest Places to Avoid in the Flu Season

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27, 2017.

Flu may seem fairly commonplace, but it can make you feel miserable, keep you out of work, and in some cases even be deadly—especially for certain vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and those with impaired immune systems. Flu shots can help, as can being vigilant and aware of the places that germs tend to hang out. The doctors of American Family Care warn that the following are the five places where you will be the most likely to come into contact with flu germs and offer pointers on how you can protect yourself.

ATM machines: You use the ATM keypad by punching in your code with your fingertip—as do hundreds of other people over the course of the day. During the season, how many of the people using the machine are carrying flu germs? Better than using your fingertip, try to punch the keypad with a knuckle, since you are less likely to rub an eye or your mouth with a knuckle than a fingertip. Or you could carry disinfectant wipes with you and swab off the keypad before using it.

Community pens –Avoid them! Whether you’re in a store signing a credit card receipt, a bank filling out a deposit slip, or at the office where pens are shared by multiple people, you are risking exposure to flu and other germs. This one is easy: carry your own pen with you, wherever you go—and don’t lend it out!

Shaking hands: Dr. Hicks of American Family care tells us that shaking hands is the number one means of getting the flu. It may seem rude to avoid a handshake in business and social situations, but Dr. Hicks claims it is not necessarily viewed as rudeness these days to avoid a handshake, especially while the flu season is raging. But there are times when it just can’t be avoided, so keep some hand sanitizer handy (to use discreetly!) or excuse yourself for a trip to wash up in the bathroom as soon as you can.

Cell phones, laptops, and tablets: Electronics go nearly everywhere we do. If you’re like most people nowadays, you and your friends and co-workers frequently show each other photos, videos, or websites without a thought. At work, a computer keyboard may be shared by several people over the course of a day. Sharing electronic devices that are operated by hand is an easy way to pick up flu germs, so remember to disinfect screens and keyboards regularly, and don’t encourage sharing!

Gas pump: Regardless of the season we pretty much all will have to fill up with gas a few times a month; and so does everyone else—including people who are carrying flu germs on their hands. Use a paper towel to cover your hand before using the keypad or lifting the nozzle, or swab everything down with disinfectant wipes before you pump. 

Paying close attention to these five germ hazards can help you get through the flu season in good health. And be aware of other places that come into contact with many hands throughout the day—door knobs, elevator buttons, grocery cart handles, and so forth. And best of luck in keeping this year flu free, from the lawyers at The Mitchell Law Firm, LLC!