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HEAL

What helps us avoid the flu best: Soap or hand sanitizer?

That simple routine is hand washing. It is really the best method we have to avoid spreading any type of virus or bacteria between people.

Because we use our hands to cover our coughs and sneezes, we get viruses and bacteria on our hands a lot. Then we touch a doorknob, light switch or some other common item at home, school or work and spread it to others. Once it's on your hands, it can easily get into your body because we tend to touch our eyes, nose or mouth often throughout the day.

Frequent hand washing is key. And don't just spritz a little water and soap on your hands. Place both hands under a stream of water and lather up with soap. Scrub for about 20 seconds. You can teach your kids to scrub their hands for as long as it takes to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Then, rinse your hands and dry them with a clean towel or let them air dry.

What about using hand sanitizers? While some sanitizers help reduce the number of germs on your hands, they don't eliminate all germs and are not a substitute for washing your hands.

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