Health officials offer ways to protect yourself from deadly viruses

Health officials offer ways to protect yourself from deadly viruses

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It's International Infection Prevention Week and health officials want to help you find ways to fight against deadly viruses and germs.

Viruses like influenza, Southwest Georgia Public Health epidemiologist Jacqueline Jenkins says over 300,000 people die every year from flu-related illnesses. The best way to combat the virus stems from the simplest of tasks--washing your hands frequently and correctly.

The CDC recommends to use warm water, lather soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Then rise off, use a clean towel or air dry. Jenkins says another thing you can do is to practice good cough etiquette by coughing either into your upper sleeve or into your elbow.

She says it's a habit parents should discuss with children at a young age.

"We know that viruses can live 6 to 8 hours on touch surfaces," Jenkins said. "So, it's important to have good hand hygiene, wash your hands very often. That's probably the biggest way to prevent picking up germs or viruses from others."

Jenkins recommends to follow the 1 to 10 ratio when you want to disinfect surfaces, 9 parts water and 1 part chlorine-bleach. She said the combination is strong enough to kill the virus.

Those who are at higher risk of catching flu-related illnesses include children, especially those under the age of 5, people with asthma or pre-existing heart conditions and those 65 years or older.

CDC health recommendations

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