Germs are everywhere, especially this time of year as we spend more time indoors. That’s why our team at AFC Urgent Care Knoxville wants to offer you some tips on how to stop the spread of germs and stay illness-free. Stay Healthy and Happy in 2018! One of the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from illness this winter is by getting the flu vaccine. And don’t think that just because the flu season is already here that you’re too late. It’s not too late to protect yourself with the flu vaccine. However, whether you get the flu shot or not this season, you can still help stop the spread of germs. Let’s look at some ways to tackle germs during the cold, winter months. First, you want to make sure you keep your distance when around people during this time of the year, especially those who have children. Although colleagues and friends might not be experiencing cold or flu symptoms just yet, they still might be carriers. We’re not suggesting you avoid people entirely (that’s virtually impossible anyhow), but limit skin-to-skin or close contact these next few months. Second, you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your immune system strong. Not sure how to do that? Well, practicing normal, everyday healthy habits will help. Get regular exercise, eat a balanced diet, limit stress, don’t smoke and get plenty of quality sleep. Finally, if you do get sick this season, stay at home. If you’re out and about in public, you’re passing germs to others around you—and you could be making your own illness worse, too. Therefore, stay at home, drink plenty of liquids and wait it out until you’re feeling better and no longer contagious. Stop the Spread of Germs Once and for All Germs are commonly spread by a person touching a contaminated surface and then touching his or her eyes, nose or mouth. And during cold weather, germs stick around longer indoors, because doors and windows are usually closed. That’s why it’s important to take steps to rid surfaces of germs. Surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs and light switches, should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. This can help keep germs from being spread from one person to another. In addition, it’s important to practice proper handwashing techniques. A quick dash of hand sanitizer or a couple seconds rinsing your hands isn’t going to do it. You need to spend time working up a lather while washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. The best way to know if you have washed for long enough is to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” twice. Be sure to take these practices with you when heading out on the town in Knoxville, such as when you bring your children to see “Whatever Happened to Little Red Riding Hood?” at the Knoxville Children’s Theatre or attending a Lady Vols basketball game this season! Did germs strike—and now you’re sick? Visit AFC Urgent Care Knoxville today so we can get you back to feeling your best!