January 12th, 2013 9:05 PM by Dan Howard
The CDC warns us of the need for a flu vaccination and the shortage of vaccine. We are warned to wash our hands and avoid crowds. What you may be surprised to discover is the information you can use to reduce the chance of exposure to the virus. Our best defense is to understand and avoid “touch points”.
If you have never heard of the term,“touch points” are places we touch in the normal course of daily activities. These are important to you because they can transfer the flu virus onto our hands and then into our bodies.
Touch points include everyday appliances like the handle for therefrigerator, microwave, coffee pot or cabinet handles. Keyboards or touch screens are additional “touch points” where your prize for going about your normal activity is getting the flu germs left by the person who was in front of you.
The spouse that drives the kids to school when the other spouse is sick with the flu, grabs the steering wheel along with the flu germs that they thought they were avoiding. That is another example of a “touch point.”
Go to your favorite restaurant, and watch them wipe the table. You anxiously grab the touch points of the menu, the ketchup bottle or the back of the chair just before you sit down. Then you pick up the sandwich with your now virus laden hands and feed yourself the flu.
Hand wipes, sanitizer, awareness of touch points and good habits can save you and your family from sharing the flu. Look for the next blog entry for “avoidance” tips. If you wonder how we can test to measure the biofilm living on touch points, we can use a device called a Luminometer. Information about these testing devices can be found at: https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/foodsafety/processor/cfs02s138.html