Everyday Wellness: After the last sniffle or cough

January 19, 2012

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You may not be sick or contagious anymore, but your germs from two days prior (when you were sick) could still be alive. Germs can live on objects for up to 48 hours, depending on the germ and its environment. If healthy people touch an infected surface, then touch their eyes, nose or mouth, they could get sick, too.

Here’s what you can do:

• Wipe all surfaces such as bedside tables, books, bathroom and kitchen counters, toilets, phones, other hand-held electronics, toys, doorknobs, faucets, teapots and the refrigerator handle with a household disinfectant. Don’t forget your computer keyboard.

• Wash linens with laundry soap, and then tumble dry on a hot setting. Don’t put dirty laundry near your face. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 15 to 20 seconds after handling dirty laundry or used tissues.

• Toss disposable personal care items such as your toothbrush, disposable contact lenses, razor blades and mascara.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention