It's easy to be on guard against the flu whenever you're out and about, because every cough or sneeze can remind you to grab the hand sanitizer. But there's another area that can be infected as well, and that's your own abode. However, learning how to prepare your house for germs can potentially keep you and your family a little healthier this year. Thankfully, most of these tips are quick and simple, so they can just become a part of your regular routine.
First, though, it's great to know a little more about the flu virus itself and how it spreads. "Influenza virus is mostly spread by droplets when people sneeze, cough or speak. These tiny droplets can be inhaled or can land in the eyes or mouth, leading to infection," as B. Mark Landrum, M.D., an Infectious Diseases specialist with Johns Hopkins Regional Physicians, tells Romper via email. (Dr. Landrum's wife, Dianne J. Landrum, M.D., a pediatrician with The Pediatric Center in Columbia, Maryland, also offered input for this piece). "Flu virus can live on hard surfaces like countertops or toys for up to 24 hours, when we touch these objects and touch our faces, eyes, or nose, we can transmit the influenza directly," explains Dr. Landrum. To help protect your home against these pervasive flu germs, follow these simple steps.