Tracking the germ, minimizing your risk

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The coughing and the wheezing, we all do it, but you may not always think about the consequences if one of your co-workers is sick.

"Respiratory secretion, coughing, sneezing...where those materials, where the virus exists and has shed on those materials gets on a surface and then somebody touches that and brings it to their own eyes or nose or mouth and then they're infected with the organism," explained Dr. Jeffrey Levin.

He says the seasonal flu and H1N1 are very contagious, spreading and traveling through contact.

"You know you get something on your hand and there's a lot of hand to mouth interaction or to mucous membranes, eyes that sort of thing," said Levin.

He says don't get overly paranoid but stay clean. Maybe keep antibacterial gel and wipes at your desk.

"Especially things that are commonly used or shared, you know, like the door knob...or a phone," said Levin.

When was the last time you washed your hands after touching a gas nozzle? All it takes is one infected person to spread it around to everyone who comes in contact. Have you ever thought about how far a sneeze travels?

"I know everyone has seen those films those slow motion films where someone sneezes and it's a huge projection of a spray of droplets and they can go a fair distance," said Levin.

It can spread more than six feet to be exact...Yuck! So, cough and sneeze in your sleeve unless you want others to end up sick. Dr. Levine says when you wash your hands, it should be thorough, for at least 20 seconds. He says that's like singing happy birthday twice. And, you need to wash your hands constantly throughout the day.

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