St. Luke’s Hospital offers ways to prevent infection in the New Year

Published 9:00am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Don’t pick your nose (or your mouth or eyes either). “Not only will others look at you a little funny,” said Rothell, “it leads to the spread of a number of infections. Many germs prefer the warm, moist environment inside your nose, as well as other mucous-covered surfaces such as your eyes and mouth. Infections can be easily prevented by avoiding touching of these areas.”

Exercise caution with animals. Infections that can spread from animals to people are more common than most people realize. If you have pets, make sure they get regular check-ups and that their vaccinations are up-to-date. Different types of wild animals can carry diseases such as rabies or bird flu, or fleas and ticks that spread plague and Lyme disease. Always wash your hands and make sure children wash their hands after visiting a petting zoo!

Watch the news. “The best way to understand what’s going on around us is to watch TV.” encouraged Rothell. “For example, a bird flu outbreak in Asia may make you think twice about a trip you were planning. Salmonella in tomatoes? Don’t eat tomatoes.”

“Luckily, our skin acts as a natural barrier against harmful germs that cause infections, but by making a few simple behavioral changes you can easily prevent the spread of many infectious diseases,” said Rothell.

Precaution and prevention are both necessary to protect the residents of Polk County.

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