Medwatch-Staying away from germs during the holidays

Medwatch-Staying away from germs during the holidays

The holiday season is a busy time of year between holiday parties, shopping and family get-togethers, we are surrounded by people and, unfortunately, germs.

There are a couple of reasons why it's so easy to pick up a bug this time of year.

"We are indoors much more than we are in other seasons. We are around more people. We're in closer contact with people through office parties, parties in general, or out at the mall. So, it's much easier to pick up germs in those environments than it would be in other times of the year," Dr. Neya Vyas, Cleveland Clinic family medicine physician, said.

Dr. Vyas says to take caution whenever you're handling anything that has been touched by a lot of people—shopping cart handles, door handles, keypads and pens on credit card readers—are all places where germs can live. Of course, you shouldn't avoid going out at the holidays just to avoid germs. Dr. Vyas says being aware that you've touched such things is important so you remember to wash your hands before you eat or touch your face to avoid getting sick. She also has advice for people who may be feeling under the weather.

"If you're sick, then take a step back and ask yourself, is it really this important to go to x-y-z place, or go to a particular party where you could infect people," Dr. Vyas said.

Dr. Vyas also warns that seasonal behavior—such as not getting enough sleep, not eating well and too much stress—can make us more susceptible to getting sick.

In other health news, Comanche County Memorial Hospital will host a smoking cessation course to help smokers quit. The free seven-week course will begin on Tuesday, January 5, at 5:30 p.m. in Maple Conference Room. To sign up, call 580-585-5527.