The elderly and children are most at risk for serious flu-related complications. With the virus claiming the lives of 53 children, it's important to focus on hygiene.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to clean your hands. But you have to do it correctly.
Pediatrician Sky Izaddoost uses a fluorescent gel on 7-year-old Isabella's hands and 6-year-old Isaiah's hands and then has them do their regular handwashing. Dr. Sky shines a black light on Isabella's hands to see how she did.
"You missed a big part of your palm and under your nails. Those are common places that all kids miss because they forget to wash their palms and underneath their nails," Dr. Sky noted.
It's back to the sink, where technique really matters.
"When you rub your hands, rub in a circle, then you go to the top and wash the top of your hands, and rub between your fingers. Then you rub under your nails, using plenty of soap and warm water,” Dr. Sky explained. “You don't have to have a special anti-bacterial, anti-viral soap. Any soap is kill germs.”
Next time under the lights, there’s a big difference.
Isaiah learned from watching his big sister and scrubbed away.
You have to wash for a full 20 seconds to get the bugs off. A good way for children to remember how long to wash is to sing the Happy Birthday song twice.
Dr. Sky, who works at the Children's Hospital of San Antonio, says that hand sanitizers can be a good way to keep your hands clean.
"But you have to make sure the hand sanitizer has 40 percent alcohol or it's not going to help you at all," she said.
Dr. Sky also recommends frequent hand washing.
"We tell our kids to wash hands before dinner,” she said. “But in flu season, they need to wash much more often.”