The flu can be transmitted by touching surfaces that contain the virus, and then by touching your eyes, nose or mouth. While getting the flu shot offers you the best protection from getting sick, washing your hands regularly throughout the day is also a must. You will want to give them an extra scrub after coming in contact with any of these six spots:
- Gas pumps. Consider then how many people touch that same gas pump handle on a daily basis. Protect yourself by using paper towels when grabbing and holding gas pump handles, or carry around disposable latex gloves to protect your hands. Use a hand sanitizer afterwards.
- Buttons. Buttons are everywhere, from ATMs and elevators to the coffee maker and vending machine at work, and they’re all germy. For example, each key on an ATM is home to an average of 1,200 germs, including flu viruses. In elevators, first floor buttons are the most contaminated because they’re used the most. Use your elbow or knuckle instead of fingertip to press buttons. In the case of an elevator, take the stairs – the exercise will do you good.
- Checkout screens. When you punch in your PIN, you may pick up the flu virus. Checkout screens are used by hundreds of people every day and rarely – if ever – cleaned. Protect yourself by carrying small bottles of hand sanitizer.
- Restaurant condiment bottles. Restaurant tables are cleaned between customers, but catsup bottles, salt and pepper shakers and other condiment bottles are almost never cleaned. Handle bottles with a clean napkin.
- Desks. People talk, sneeze, eat and breathe all over their phones, keyboards and desks everyday. Disinfect your workspace, particularly if you share your desk, computer or phone with other employees.
- Shopping carts. Shopping carts are known offenders at harboring cold and flu viruses from the cart user, or a toddler in the seat with grimy hands. Use antibacterial wipes (now provided in many stores), to wipe down the handle and cart.