BREAKING NEWS Sheriff: Butte County Jail inmate tests positive for coronavirus Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Good hygiene still key to preventing spread of flu

Flu season may have peaked, but health professionals say it's still important to thoroughly wash your hands until flu season is officially over.

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 7:30 PM

Flu season may have peaked, but health professionals say it's still important to thoroughly wash your hands until flu season is officially over.

Shasta Community Health Center chief medical officer Jeff Bosworth said even though we're at the tail end of flu season, he's still seeing cases of flu popping up in Shasta County.

“We've seen the volume this year of our patients that we're seeing in our urgent care department as walk-in patients is definitely up this year from previous years,” Bosworth said.

He said until flu season is over, good hygiene is still one of the easiest ways to stop the virus in its tracks.

“Which means good hand washing techniques,” Bosworth said. “Covering your mouth appropriately when coughing, wearing a mask is you're ill and those sort of simple yet important preventive measures.”

We talked with infection control nurse Heidi Chamberlain to learn just what areas we should pay special attention to when washing hands.

“And really getting that soap onto the skin and vigorously washing so that when you wash your hands all those germs go down the sink,” Chamberlain said. “And getting those important spots like underneath the fingernails and in the crevices of the fingers.”

So I did a test to see just how good my handwashing technique was.

First, I rubbed a black-light reactive lotion on my hands and waited about a minute before washing it off.

Then we fired up the black light to see just what areas I missed, and the results were eye-opening.

It turns out, even though I thought I was thorough, there were some areas I missed, namely the areas around my fingernails and wrists.

Chamberlain says it shows just how easily the flu can be transmitted through touching.

She says we touch everything with our hands, so the old etiquette of sneezing or coughing into our hands isn't the best practice.

“So you don't want to use your hands because then you touch things,” Chamberlain said. “So cough or sneeze like this or in to your clothing like this. And if you can't do that, then turn away if you need to.”

Chamberlain said you should wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, which is about the equivalent of singing the “Happy Birthday Song” twice.

And if you haven't gotten the flu, flu season isn’t over yet.

And it's still not too late to get vaccinated.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 103813

Reported Deaths: 3993
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles498602241
Riverside7341313
San Diego7100260
Orange5744142
San Bernardino4914190
Alameda309794
Santa Clara2701140
San Francisco243740
San Mateo202282
Kern200737
Tulare183580
Fresno165832
Santa Barbara163612
Imperial144326
Contra Costa138437
Sacramento134956
Ventura106232
San Joaquin84235
Kings7043
Stanislaus68328
Sonoma5304
Solano50922
Monterey4699
Marin43614
Merced2807
San Luis Obispo2681
Yolo20723
Santa Cruz2062
Placer1969
Napa1113
Humboldt983
Madera942
San Benito852
El Dorado840
Del Norte440
Sutter422
Nevada411
Butte400
Shasta374
Mono351
Yuba281
Mendocino250
Lake230
Inyo191
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Glenn140
Amador100
Siskiyou60
Colusa50
Lassen50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Broken Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 90°
Oroville
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 90°
Paradise
Broken Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 90°
Chester
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 85°
Red Bluff
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 99° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 90°
Willows
Broken Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 90°
Rain showers and a good chance for thunderstorms are on the way for your Friday night and Saturday forecast. We'll also be much cooler and have gusty South winds this weekend. Some showers are possible early next week, but dry and warmer weather returns for the middle of next week.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events