By Rachel Baldwin
WILLIAMSON - According to numerous area physician offices and local hospitals, a greater than normal number of people has sought treatment for several different strands of the flu, including upper respiratory and intestinal strands thus far this year, and the numbers are predicted to remain on the rise.
In Boyd County, Ky., two recent deaths that were said to have been caused by the H1-N1 virus/flu has heightened the concerns of physicians and health care workers, who are striving to educate the public on precautionary measures they can take to stay healthy.
The Mingo County Health Department has released educational pamphlets that offer 10 healthy habits and tips that will help you avoid colds and flu symptoms.
1. Bar soap is a perfect breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Wash your hands frequently with liquid antibacterial soap instead of bar soap.
2. Don’t share drinking glasses. Instead, use disposable cups in the kitchen and bathroom, using each cup only once and then disposing.
3. Use disposable tissues when blowing your nose; use each tissue once, throw it away then wash your hands thoroughly.
4. Colds and flu are often spread by hand-to-hand contact. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth after being exposed to viruses or bacteria.
5. Bacteria and viruses can live on hand towels and sponges for hours. Use disposable paper napkins and towels in the kitchen.
6. To kill bacteria and viruses, wash toys regularly in warm, soapy water.
7. If you have to sneeze and a tissue is unavailable, sneeze into your shoulder, not your hands, to avoid spreading germs.
8. Frequently clean surfaces such as stair rails, telephones, counter tops and door knobs to avoid hand-to-hand spread of viruses.
9. Germs remain in stagnant air; open windows when weather permits to circulate fresh air.
10. Avoid smoking at home. Smoking is a respiratory irritant that increases susceptibility to viruses that cause colds and the flu.
Developing simple, healthy habits like those above can help you stay healthy during this cold and flu season and throughout the year.