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Simple Way to Avoid the Flu: Don't Touch Your Face

Don't Want the Flu? Don't Touch Your Face

If someone sick with swine flu happened to be so rude as to cough in your face, you would have a 50 percent chance of catching the bug, according to environmental health experts at both UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois. A more likely scenario is touching your face after touching an object covered with the H1N1 virus. The flu virus cannot penetrate our skin, but it thrives in the mucus membranes of the nose, mouth, and eyes. New advice on avoiding the flu: don't touch your face. But this simple advice can be difficult to follow, since in observational studies we touch our faces 16 times an hour on average. Since flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces from 24 up to 48 hours, your hands could be come into contact with the virus. Your best defense is to wash your hands well and keep your hands away from your face.

As a side note, in writing this post, I've touched my face at least four times. I'm going to need some serious retraining.

Join The Conversation
12Twenty 12Twenty 7 years
I thought this article was interesting: The authors say that while hand-washing is very effective at preventing the common cold, it won't do much to protect us from the flu. I'll still keep washing/sanitizing my hands throughout the day though.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
Every time I try to not touch my face, an eyelash falls in my eye or a stray hair tickles my nose or my skin starts to itch. It's so hard.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I'm with Yogaforlife. In fact, I'm touching my face right now! I'm propping my chin on my hand, and working the mouse with the other hand. LOL
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
Ugh - I don't know how people don't touch their face. I constantly am touching my face.
bengalspice bengalspice 7 years
i wish i could clean my hands often enough, but as of this moment washing or sanitizing my hands frequently will cause my eczema to get worse. i already look like i have the hands of a 100 year old croc!
starlotus713 starlotus713 7 years
I have been trying to not touch my face so much for years - a friend has BEAUTIFUL skin and she credits it to never touching her face with anything but just-cleaned hands. It makes sense - you don't just carry the flu virus on hard surfaces and dirty hands, but also all sorts of bacteria. However, I can't help it sometimes!
FrenchCactus FrenchCactus 7 years
Is the person in the picture a man or a woman?
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