Beat the Flu: How to Stay Healthy Through the Coming Bird by A.A. Avlicino

By A.A. Avlicino

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Extra info for Beat the Flu: How to Stay Healthy Through the Coming Bird Flu Pandemic

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If you think that this dirt under the fingernail stuff is just more hyperbole, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published proof a few years ago that a major Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreak in a hospital was caused by the micro-organisms living under the fingernails of two nurses, one with long natural nails and another with long artificial ones. Sixteen babies died during the outbreak. If dirt under fingernails can kill 16 babies, it is certainly capable of infecting you and the people around you.

In their positions, they have to be in contact with a large number of people, often from every country in the world, thus they are taking reasonable precautions. Alcohol hand-rub, gel or rinse sanitisers are portable, effective disinfectants containing at least 60 per cent alcohol with emollients to keep your skin from drying or chapping. Washing hands with warm water and soap is still the most effective method to reduce the number of germs on your hands. However, alcohol hand sanitisers are indicated after washing hands with soap and water as an additional step to kill germs or when soap and water handwashing is not feasible.

45 Beat the Flu • Wet hands and lather well with soap. Work the lather evenly from one hand to the other. Hot or warm water is preferable to cold, not because it kills bacteria and viruses (water hot enough to do that would scald you) but because the soap lathers better with it. You should spend at least 15 seconds rubbing your hands together after they’re wet and lathered (about the amount of times it takes to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice) and even more if your hands are especially dirty.

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