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Tips to stay healthy for flu season

MORGANTOWN — Flu season is upon us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza activity often begins to increase in October, peaks between December and February and can linger into May.

At a time when COVID-19 is still a dominant infectious disease concern, cleaning and bioremediation specialist Ralph Grimm, of SERVPRO of Morgantown, reminds local residents it is important this time of year to take steps to protect yourself and your family from influenza and other seasonal viral infections like Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which can be especially serious for children and older adults.

Breathing in virus-laden droplets from an infected person’s cough, sneeze, or speech from as far away as six feet is believed to be the prime means of virus transmission. Experts agree it is possible to become infected by touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching your mouth, nose, or even eyes.

The good news, said Grimm, is many viruses — including the flu, COVID and RSV — are easy to kill outside the body using soap and warm water, commercial disinfectants and hand sanitizers that contain alcohol. As a leading provider of disaster clean-up and remediation services, SERVPRO professionals specialize in this type of surface cleaning and disinfection.

“You can’t do much to control the cleanliness of public places, but you can take steps to protect yourself from the consequences of any exposure,” Grimm said. “At home or in the office, remember to pay special attention to ‘high touch’ surfaces. Doorknobs, faucets, countertops, appliance handles and knobs, the steering wheel of your car, your phone — these are examples of surfaces that you should get in the habit of wiping down at least daily with a disinfectant designed to kill viruses.”

Grimm said, personal accountability is the single, most important factor in controlling the spread of viral infections, including the seasonal flu. Stay home if you are sick and follow suggested guidelines. The CDC offers additional “stay healthy” tips on line:

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