DODGE GERMS WITH THESE SMART TRICKS
Steer clear of close talkers
Sneezing and coughing aren't the only ways to transmit flu germs: Recently researchers found that people with the flu could indeed spread it just by exhaling. You'll want to make sure to give others plenty of personal space during peak season. Someone who is infected with the virus can be contagious even before their first symptoms strike.
Stock up on wipes
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is great for keeping your hands clean but don't stop there. "The flu virus may live longer on hard surfaces than soft ones. Use antibacterial wipes on door handles, hand rails, buttons on your phone or copy machine, and anything else that other people are touching during flu season," says Lisa Yakas, a microbiologist and senior project manager at NSF international, a global public health and safety company. Disinfect every few hours if you're in close contact with someone who is flu-ish.
Quit rubbing your eyes
You probably reach up to your face more often than realize, and it's a risky habit: "Your eyes, along with your nose and mouth, are lined with mucous membranes," explains Dr. Schaffner. "Touching them allows germs on your fingers to slip into your body. "Hopefully your that usual alone is enough to help you stop.
It's thought that the flu virus fares better in dry air, so setting up a humidifier might help remove it from your environment faster. Just remember to clean the machine regularly or it may become a breeding ground for other microbial invaders.
Accessorize with scarves
When you're on a bus, or in a waiting room, and someone near you is sneezing, coughing, or just looks under the weather, your scarf will come in handy: "Cover your nose and mouth to avoid breathing in their germs," says Yakas.