How To Avoid Colds & Flu

by | Jan 27, 2016

In the midst of cold and flu season, when you’re surrounded by sneezing, wheezing colleagues and kids, it’s small comfort to hear the 2015-16 flu season is so far relatively mild.

Influenza activity is currently rising in King County and across Washington state, but remains at low levels. Anyone interested in numbers, graphs, public health or epidemiology should definitely check out the flu season weekly surveillance reports by Public Health Seattle & King County.

Feeling under the weather? Colds and flu often look alike, sharing many similar symptoms including sore throat, sneezing, fever, running or stuffy nose, body aches and cough. But they are different illnesses caused by different viruses. And since the flu can progress quickly, and even be fatal, it’s important to see your doctor if you suspect flu. Here’s a primer on colds v. flu.

Everyday Ways To Prevent Colds & Flu

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. But good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu and common cold.  Here are six tips to avoid getting sick.

Learn To Wash Your Hands Correctly

Turns out most of us have been washing our hands wrong all our lives! Improper handwashing technique can lead to increased risk of colds, flu, bacterial infections and icky intestinal bouts.

It’s especially scary in hospitals, where 50,000 people die every year from infections related to poor hand hygiene.

But there’s hand-hygiene help! A high-tech training gadget called SureWash uses a Microsoft Kinect camera and video gaming technology developed in Ireland to train medical personnel to correctly wash their hands.

Wellbody Academy’s Germnasium has the only public-use SureWash machine in the world.

Please visit in person and use the SureWash training stations to properly learn the World Health Organization’s recommended handwashing techniques. There’s no extra charge for SureWash or any Wellbody Academy activities: It’s all included in your admission to Pacific Science Center and always free for members. We want to help you stay well.