Flu prevention starts with clean hands say NHS

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Washing Hands

‘Wash your hands’ is the message from Bedfordshire and Luton Clinical Commissioning Groups this winter as they urge people to practice good hand hygiene for protection against the flu.

The flu is a virus and can be a debilitating illness.

For vulnerable groups, such as older people, pregnant women, and people with long-term health conditions, it can result in severe complications.

Health experts say the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from getting the flu is to have the seasonal flu vaccine.

Aside from the flu vaccine, the best way to protect yourself, and those around you, from the flu is to practice good hand hygiene.

This includes catching coughs and sneezes in tissues, throwing used tissues away and washing your hands frequently throughout the day.

If you feel the need to cough or sneeze, it’s important to practice the following steps; catch it, bin it, kill it.

  • Catch It: The average sneeze can spread approximately 100,000 germs at up to 100 miles an hour. Always make sure you carry tissues and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.
  • Bin It: These germs can live for several hours on a tissue, make sure to bin your used tissue as soon as possible.
  • Kill It: Your hands are an easy way for the flu virus to spread. After you’ve coughed or sneezed, even into a tissue, make sure you wash and dry your hands thoroughly.

Washing your hands, with soap, is an easy way to help protect yourself and others against the flu.

If you are washing your hands properly you should be able to sing “Happy Birthday” twice in your head, this should take around 20 seconds.

If you would like more information on how to stop the spread of flu, please visit the flu information pages at the NHS website.