Jennifer’s Journal: The 20-Second Flu Fighter

Flu season is in full swing, but there are a few simple ways to keep the virus at bay. The best way is to get your flu shot and make sure those around you have gotten theirs, too.

 In addition to getting vaccinated, an easy effective way to prevent the spread of the flu is to wash your hands.  When you wash your hands regularly and correctly, you reduce your risk of getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to other people around you.

Washing your hands the right way means more than running them under the faucet for a few seconds. UK Health Care offers a few suggestions on how to do it properly:

— Wet your hands with clean water (warm or cold), turn off the faucet and apply soap.

— Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.

— Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself or recite the ABC’s.

— Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

— Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them. Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and then throw it away.

Make sure to wash your hands:

— Before you eat

— Before, during and after preparing food

— After using the bathroom

— After coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or caring for someone who is ill

— After taking out the trash

— After petting animals

— When visiting someone who is sick

— Whenever your hands look or feel dirty.

For more information on healthy tips for you and your family contact us at the Clark County Extension Office, 744-4682 or visit us on the web at

Jennifer Howard is the Clark County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences.