Flu Season: Wash and Dry

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.



This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about flu season. We’ve been discussing the importance of being vaccinated against the flu. One other key step in illness prevention is washing your hands. Just make sure you do it properly.

Washing your hands regularly is a good way to keep germs at bay. Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says many of the surfaces you touch every day, such as doorknobs, railings or elevator buttons, are also touched by many other people, so these surfaces can be contaminated. Washing your hands can help keep these germs from getting into your body. You should wash your hands with warm, soapy water, rubbing your hands vigorously for at least 30 seconds. It doesn’t matter whether you use a paper towel or a hot air dryer to dry your hands, but dry them thoroughly. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.

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October 2011

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