Germ study is nothing to sneeze at during flu season

Some doctors strongly urge patients to get the flu shot to ward off sickness.
Some doctors strongly urge patients to get the flu shot to ward off sickness.


Kids are in school, you're at work and guess what's joining you: germs.

Even if you don't want them around, they're hanging around much longer than you might think.

There are a lot of germs in the places we work, like on your phone or your computer, which is a no-brainer; but many people aren't aware, how long they stick around for and how fast they spread.

When you show up to work sick, you might be the person people avoid, but keeping their distance, may not keep them from getting sick.

Just in time for flu season, results from a study might have you taking out your hand sanitizer.

According to researchers at the University of Arizona, more than half the surfaces most of us touch - like the coffee pot handle or the phone - can become infected with a virus, all it takes is one person to be sick.

A shocking part of the study, those germs stuck around hours later, which is why if you're sick, you should do others a favor and stay home.

"Particularly if you have a fever or are vomiting or have diarrhea,” said Dr. Jennifer Kuperman, at Coastal Carolina University. “During those times, you're definitely contagious and should stay home."

At the end of the study, researchers felt disease may spread faster by hand than by a sneeze.

While this may be obvious, washing your hands or using sanitizer can drastically decrease your chances of having to join the crowds at your local doctors office.

"Mainly we've been seeing upper respiratory infections, sinusitis, bronchitis and a lot of sore throats, strep throats, things like that,” said Kuperman.

You'll want to take precautions especially as flu season has begun - this week's report from the Department of Health notes sporadic flu cases in the state, with confirmed cases, in Horry County.

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