Hand-washing key in preventing flu

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ABC13 staff come clean with their level of hand bacteria (KTRK)

The best way to prevent the flu is washing your hands. You also should get the influenza vaccine, according to the experts.

The issue at hand: do you actually know the best way to clean your hands?

Eyewitness News sat down with Dr. Rita Callahan, an associate professor in Houston Community College's nursing program.

Callahan said many people might not be properly cleaning their hands.

She said you need to scrub those hands with full force for 20 seconds in warm water. You should dry from the bottom up with a paper towel. You should also turn off the sink and exit the restroom with a paper towel.

"Really spend some time washing your hands," said Dr. Callahan. "In general, some people will wet their hands and they're gone. That's not enough. It's the friction that is key."

Callahan said adults should sing the song "Happy Birthday" to themselves and children should recite their ABCs to measure the time spent washing their hands. She also suggested carrying hand sanitizer with you at all times.

ABC13, with the help of Dis.In.Fx, decided to test some of our news team's hands. Zuriel Kirkwood with the company, which specializes in disinfecting schools and businesses, used a tool which measures micro-organisms.

"It's very important that we wash our hands because you never know what you just touched or picked up," said Kirkwood. "It may have had something you didn't have originally but you can easily pass it to someone else."

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healthfluflu seasonvaccinesHouston
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