Hand Washing Key to Escaping Flu

Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Influenza, bronchitis and pneumonia have dominated the headlines lately.  If you have not been exposed yet, you will. Without proper hand washing and being aware of your surroundings, there is a high chance you will fall victim to one of the many flu strains going around.

Mrs. Joey Rickards, NDA attendance secretary, verified how much attendance has been affected.

“On an average, we have about 20 students out sick; however, Monday of this week there were over 40. It’s not just influenza going around; we also had students out with the stomach flu,” she said.

Although you may have received a yearly flu shot, it doesn’t mean you are safe from getting it. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) the “flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by 40% to 60%.”

Proper hand washing is the number one precaution against contracting any disease, flu included.

Tyler Bergner, who recently started working at St. Vincent hospital, discussed what steps he takes against getting the flu.

“The flu is like mosquitoes,” he said. “They always seem to appear and try to bother you. Mosquito spray can prevent mosquitoes from irritating you, but not always. This can relate to the flu shot. It may work, or may not. Working at a hospital and being exposed to anything and everything, I have to take very particular precautions to avoid receiving the diseases or illness and not spreading it to the other patients. Proper handwashing can help prevent spreading and keep yourself from receiving it.”

The CDC suggests if you don’t feel good, stay home. Also, avoid close contact with individuals, WASH YOUR HANDS, avoid touching your face, and clean and disinfect surfaces such as your computer keyboard or cell phone.

Notre Dame Academy provides hand sanitizer in each hall.

Mrs. Rickards said, “Hand sanitizer only works if you use it, but I’m amazed at the number of students who actually do.”

Attached is a picture Bergner was shown during orientation for his job at the hospital. Washing the frequently missed spots can help one to avoid spreading as well as contracting the flu and other diseases.