When we were young, we all learned in that the flu is transmitted through contact with sneezes, coughs, and other germ-laden fluids. So the best way to avoid the flu (besides getting vaccinated) is to wash your hands regularly, especially after coming in contact with a sick person or anything they came in contact with.
But recent research suggests that’s not quite true, and that much less contact is required to get the flu than we realized.
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that you don’t have to be around for the sneezing, the coughing, or the blowing of the nose; you can contract the flu just by inhaling air that an infected person exhaled.
While pictures of people sneezing may look alarming, the researchers found that those sneezes did not contain any more flu particles than regular breath. According to the study’s senior author Dr Donald Milton, “People with flu generate infectious aerosols (fine particles of flu virus that remain in the air) even when they are not coughing, and especially during the first days of illness.”
What’s the best way to protect yourself against the flu? Did we mention vaccination? Oh yes, we did, but it bears mentioning again: get vaccinated against the flu. And if you have the flu, stay in bed and don’t breathe on anyone.
At Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, we pride ourselves on creating the environment and programming that enhances quality of life, recuperation, health, and well-being. And that includes keeping our residents safe from the flu and other infectious diseases.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 609-588-5800 or by clicking here.