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Infection Control: Common Cold vs. Flu

Many people confuse the common cold with the flu virus. Prevention of the common cold takes little effort. Hand washing, environmental disinfectants and covering coughs/sneezes can prevent most cases. Prevention is the key because there is no vaccine for it.

The flu virus can be averted with a vaccine. It takes 3-4 weeks to develop antibodies and is about 70% effective. If you do get the flu after having the vaccine it is most likely because you had ben exposed prior to your immunization. Most infections spread readily, even before a person experiences any symptoms.

Antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizers and hand washing are all good ways to stop the spread of bacteria that causes these illnesses. However, in order to be effective they must be done correctly. Hand sanitizers must be alcohol based and be rubbed into skin for twenty seconds. Hand washing must be done if hands are visibly soiled, using soap and water for two minutes.

While it is impossible to completely avoid contact with all germs, it is possible to prevent cold and flu outbreaks with common senses and infection control.

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