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Does a Clean Home Help Fight the Flu?

December 04, 2019

Most of us associate avoiding illness with avoiding people that are coughing and sneezing, for good reason. Coughs and sneezes spread droplets that contain viruses, like the flu, that makes us sick. But where is it that we pick up these droplets, even when we aren’t around people that cough and sneeze?

Surfaces, that’s where. The good news is, an environmental NPI, can help!

What is an “environmental NPI”?

Environmental NPI’s are nonpharmaceutical interventions that focus on the physical space around us. For all intents and purposes, this translates to the understanding that keeping a clean space is a way of fighting the flu!

According to studies referenced by the CDC, flu virus infected droplets have the power to make people sick for up to 48 hours after being spread to surfaces. This is in contrast to the flu viruses contagiousness of only 3-5 minutes on hands. We can get our flu vaccines, use hand sanitizer, wash our hands, and avoid sick people, but if we touch a surface with dried up, two-day-old droplets, and then itch our nose… we could still pick up the flu! So, to fight the flu in your environment, perform routine surface cleanings of things you touch often, like countertops, computers, doorknobs, pens, toys, steering wheels, and cell-phones.

If you still need your flu shot, or if you start to feel unwell, your local Health First is here to help! Our centers are open 8:00 am to 8:00 pm- no appointment necessary! You can also use our Save My Spot option here. If you need us, we look forward to helping you Get Better. Faster!