Avoid flu reinfection

Now that the flu season is here I thought I’d just write about a few things that might help us to avoid getting reinfected again.

Can you reinfect yourself by using the same toothbrush after you have been sick? The answer is, yes, it is very possible. The best thing you can do is throw it out. Your toothbrush collects germs from any environment where it spends time, including the place where you store it and, of course, your mouth. In theory using the same toothbrush you used when you had a bacterial infection (like strep throat) or viral infection (like a cold or flu) could re-expose you to the germs. While boiling your toothbrush might help kill them, it’s also likely to damage the bristles. So it’s better to start fresh. To minimize germs, rinse your toothbrush before and after use; do not store it in a covered container which promotes bacterial growth; and never share toothbrushes. If you share a bathroom with someone, store toothbrushes so they don’t touch.

Now with spring just around the corner, check your pets for ticks. Cats and dogs often bring deer ticks and Lyme Disease into the home. If you find one, use fine tipped tweezers to remove it as close to the skin as possible.

The average human heart beats one hundred thousand times a day. Make those beats count. -unknown

Jean Peikert, RN, Parish Nurse

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