Your phone and the flu

We always think about handrails, doorknobs and shaking hands during the flu season. But did you know that viruses are known to live on inanimate objects like phones. Yes. Your phone. That thing glued to your ear.You know how you let your co-worker use it earlier today? Guess what, they have the flu and now their flu germs are on your phone. Pretty gross right?

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So how do you help from getting the flu or another virus?

Tips from Dr. Geeta Nayyar, AT&T’s Chief Medical Information Officer:

1. Consider getting a flu shot. If you are sick and experiencing flu symptoms, do not share your phone and stay home to avoid infecting others. Keep your germs to yourself.

2. Avoid sick people. If you share your phone with friends or family be careful, you may be sharing more than just your phone, you may be spreading a virus!

3. Wash your hands frequently. Sing a verse from a familiar song (e.g., “Happy Birthday”) while lathering and rinsing. Don’t rush. If soap and water are not available to wash hands then use disinfectant like hand sanitizer.

4. Wash your phone! If you think it has been contaminated, disinfect your phone. Follow your phone manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your device properly. (Remember that washing your hands and then touching a dirty phone or keypad is self-limiting).
Try using a Bluetooth device or other hands-free headset, minimizing your keypad-to-face exposure
Don’t – please don’t – use your phone in a restroom. Some things can wait!

Looking for an app for your phone? Check these out:

FYI – CDC Challenge Winners
http://fluapp.challenge.gov/

Fight the Flu app
http://www.flufacts.com/iphone-app.jsp

HealthMap: Outbreaks Near Me
http://www.healthmap.org/outbreaksnearme/

CDC Influenza
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cdc-influenza/id439079630?mt=8

What steps will you take to prevent the flu?

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