Next to immunization, the single most important way to prevent influenza is to wash your hands often.
Make a habit of washing your hands, especially after you have been in contact with someone who has a cold or influenza.
After you wash up, keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth – the virus can enter your body through these openings.
It is especially important to clean your hands before:
• Preparing, serving or eating food
• Brushing or flossing your teeth
• Putting in or taking out contact lenses
• After treating wounds or cuts
If your hands are dirty, use soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a towelette that contains detergent and then use a hand rub that is alcohol based.
For more information, visit the Health Link Alberta web site at www.healthlinkalberta.ca.
Coordinator, Employee Health and Wellness, Rosi Gregory (formerly known as the coordinator of occupational health) invites questions and story ideas from University staff and faculty. You can e-mail her at email@example.com.
Here is Gregory’s advice on how to wash your hands properly:
1. Use liquid soap or a clean bar of regular soap. Rub soap on under warm running water.
2. Rub your hands together briskly for at least 15 to 20 seconds.
3. Scrub all over, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
4. Rinse under running water.
5. Dry with a clean towel.
With an alcohol-based hand rub:
1. Read label instructions.
2. Put some of the rub on the palm of your hand and rub your hands together.
3. Cover all surfaces, including fingers and wrists, and rub until dry (about 15 to 25 seconds).
U of L Communications and Public Relations Contact:
Bob Cooney, Communications and PR Officer (403) 382-7173