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Home > Health & Wellness > Health Education > Cold & Flu Prevention: Wash Your Hands
Whether it’s the stomach flu, influenza or just a cold, hand hygiene is vital to keep yourself – and those around you – healthy through the “season of sickness.”
Think about all of the activities that you use your hands for: eating, texting, driving, opening doors … the list goes on and on. Fighting the flu is all about prevention, and washing your hands is the best way to reduce and prevent the spread of germs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a simple, five-step process for effective washing:
While soap and water is the best way to reduce the spread of germs, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is the next best thing. To use it properly, make sure you apply an ample amount of the product and vigorously rub your hands together until they are dry, making sure the sanitizer reaches all surfaces.
It’s also time to get your flu shot. This is especially important for those who are at high risk of developing serious complications from the flu – such as those with certain medical conditions, pregnant woman and people age 65 and older – and those who live with or care for these individuals. It takes about two weeks for the antibodies in the flu vaccine to develop, so the sooner you can get the shot, the better. If you need to get a flu shot, contact your MercyCare family medicine clinic or walk in to any of our MercyCare Urgent Care locations to get your vaccine today.
If you do happen to find yourself ill, it's important that you stay home and focus on staying hydrated, resting and recovering. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, visit your nearest MercyCare Urgent Care. Reduce your wait time and choose your arrival time online with eArrival.