Wednesday, September 23, 2009

H1N1, flu, cold viruses, & my advice

Dear friends,

The H1N1 flu is here, as well as run-of-the-mill cold and flu viruses. Please accept my unsolicited advice:

Wash your hands with appropriate frequency. Use soap and water. Get hands wet, add soap, work the suds for a full 20 seconds (outside of the water stream), then rinse. You'd be surprised how many people put a little water on their fingertips and call that washing -- or start rinsing the soap off as soon as they touch it.

Use sanitizing hand gel, especially after touching people or using public equipment of any kind (public computers, phones, etc). Work the gel into your hands (back and front & between fingers) until the gel disappears. It doesn't work if you rinse or wipe off the gel right away because you think it's slimy. It's supposed to be that way.

Spray or wipe phones, keyboards, computer mice, and your TV remote controls with something like Lysol or those sanitizing wipes. If someone is sick at home, go through the house once per day and wipe/spray things like the refrigerator door handle, light switches, doorknobs, cabinet handles, and other things that everyone touches. This will decrease the spread of cold & flu viruses within the household. For businesses, also pay attention to things like copy machines, fax machines, and printers. No need to get paranoid, but do this when someone is sick or in public/work environments.

It is not necessary to buy soap & sanitizers labeled "antibacterial." Cold and flu viruses are viruses, not bacteria. All soaps are sanitizing, anyway. The word "antibacterial" usually indicates that the product contains Triclosan, which is harmful to the bio-environment. Use it if you already have it, but you don't have to seek out those labels.

If your doctor has recommended that you get the flu shot, please take that advice. This is a decision between you and your doctor based on your personal risk factors. If you have been advised to get either the regular flu shot or the H1N1 shot, please do so.

Thanks for putting up with my advice!
Good luck and stay healthy!

"The Good Dr. Laura"

Feel free to forward.


  1. Thanks for this. I think it was really helpful!

  2. someone recommended:

  3. Having just recovered from the swine flu, I can ditto everything she says.

    In the past I have had the flu and I have had malaria...I think that malaria was a little bit worse...but not by much!