5 germiest places during flu season

DENVER -- A group of doctors at American Family Care has listed the five places to avoid during flu season.

  • Bank ATM's: If you have to use one, use your knuckles instead of your fingertips.
  • Community pens: Try to carry a pen and avoid using the public pen.
  • Other people’s hands: You don’t want to be rude, but try not skaing other people’s hands. Try an elbow bump instead.
  • Cellphone: Phones are a lot and end up in lots of different places. Be sure to clean it often.
  • Gas pumps: Try to wipe them down beforehand or wash up afterward.

Dr. Kristin Woodward said the flu virus can live two to eight hours on surfaces, so it’s important to take precautions.

“Make sure you wash hands frequently, and if you can’t wash your hands, carry some hand sanitizer,” Woodward said.

“We also recommend that you not touch your face. The flu virus enters the mouth and the nose and the eyes, and that is how we get sick."

This flu season seems to be a bit worse than last year.

“The data we have from Jan. 14 is there have been about 700 hospitalizations in Colorado, slightly up from last year at this same time,” Woodward said.

The predominant strain of flu this year is a type A virus that is covered by the vaccine, so Woodward’s best advice is to get the flu shot.

Flu season peaks between December and March, but it can last into May.