Getting over being sick? Cleaning is essential

Health officials say cleaning is essential after being sick. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The flu is widespread in most of the United States, including West Virginia, and the common cold also is going around.

We all know there are certain things we do once we get sick, but what about after?

After having that cold or flu, you tend to spray things people commonly touch, but what about those coats, hats, and gloves that you wore while you were sick? Many people tend to forget about washing them.

"I never thought about it like that, to be honest with you," Victtorio Wilson of Detroit said.

People Eyewitness News spoke with say they wipe down their electronics such as keyboards and light switches but don't tend to wash coats or wipe the inside of their cars after being sick.

"We find that the flu virus lives 24 to 48 hours on surfaces," Kanawha Charleston Health Department spokesman John Law said.

The health department said after being sick people should wash bedding, wipe their garbage can and even open the window.

"Get some fresh air in. The virus is in the air, and the virus is going to be there and there isn't a lot you can do to prevent it," Law said.

Law said washing your hands is an essential part of keeping yourself well.

"The best practice is washing your hands and getting the flu shot," Law said.

Another thing people forget to clean after being sick is something they use twice a day.

"I don't think about my toothbrush," said Sarah Ivanovic of Charleston. "I usually leave it until I'm about to replace it. I don't replace it once I get sick."

Law said most people brush their teeth while they are sick.

"If you've been brushing your teeth while you have the virus, you probably need to change toothbrushes," he said.

If you don't want to throw that toothbrush away just yet, Law suggests letting it sit in some mouthwash. The alcohol will kill that bacteria.

Law adds if you are sick, stay home. If you are having a party for the Super Bowl, he suggests people not share a dip bowl and instead use utensils and plates. It's also a good idea to take handwashing timeouts.

Here is a list of things you should remember to clean after being sick:

* Electronic devices such as cell phones, remotes, iPads and keyboards

* Eyeglasses

* Coats, hats and gloves

* Garbage can

* Hard surfaces such as doorknobs, nightstand, headboard and light switches

* Toothbrush

* Bedding, blankets and pillows

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