How to avoid the stomach flu
Tips for staying away from a stomach bug when everyone seems to be sick
Oh no! Everyone seems to be falling ill with the stomach flu. But just because everyone else is getting it, that does not mean that you will get the stomach flu, too. First, it's important to know how the stomach flu gets around. You can get this virus from being in close quarters with a contaminated person or from touching things that have the virus on them. Also, scientists think that it can be spread in the air. So if someone coughs or sneezes near you, you could catch the virus through the air around you.
Lower your risk of getting the stomach flu, or in more precise terms, viral gastroenteritis, with these easy tips:
Avoid Contaminated People
This may not be super easy for you if your kids or your spouse gets the stomach flu. But if a co-worker gets the stomach flu (and still comes into work – disgusting!), you can definitely keep your distance. It's not just about avoiding the person, but also what they have touched.
So if they've just touched the office microwave when they heated up their lunch, give it a swipe with a disinfectant before putting in your food. Be more aware of where that person is touching so you can either avoid those objects, give them a wipe-down before using them, or use them, but wash your hands well afterward.
Lastly, don't eat food that was made or given to you by someone who recently had or currently has the stomach flu. This is the best way for you to avoid catching it yourself. People tend to think that their sickness will not pass through to what they make or touch, but there is a high likelihood that it could.
Wash Thoroughly and Often
Washing with soap and water can be your most effective prevention measure you take against the stomach flu. When you notice a lot of people coming down with the stomach flu, you should step up the washing of your hands. You should always wash your hands after using the bathroom and before you touch your eyes, face, nose, or mouth, especially during stomach flu season.
Rub your hands with soap, including between the fingers and thumbs, vigorously while you sing the alphabet song (in your head – avoiding the stomach flu doesn't have to make you look loony). Wash with water for at least 10 seconds and dry using a hand dryer. Avoid opening the bathroom door with your newly-washed hands if possible. Use your sleeve to grab the door to avoid getting germs or bacteria on your hands.
Don't Touch Your Nose or Mouth... Ever!
Much of prevention of the stomach flu will fall on you. This is a good rule to always have in mind: never touch your nose or mouth unless you just washed your hands thoroughly. It's surprising how quickly we forget what we just touched and we certainly don't think about the germs that were on that object.
Our phones, our keyboards, our fridge handles, etc. all have germs on them. Those germs can easily get into your body if you touch your nose or mouth (think of them as open gateways into the rest of your body) after coming in contact with the virus.
With these tips, you now have important tools to keep yourself healthy and safe from the stomach flu!