Healthy habits to fight off illness

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Nasty germs run rampant this time of year and in Colorado Springs a bad bug is infecting a lot of people. The good news is there are ways to prevent getting it.

“It’s that time of year, so it’s definitely going around,” Dr. James Terbush, the medical director for El Paso County Public Health, said.

So what’s the best way to make sure it doesn’t happen to you?

“There are things we all know, we learned in grade school about washing your hands and trying to avoid contact with folks that are sick,” Dr. Terbush said.

A few things you may not consider are making sure you don’t bite your nails or touch your face and eyes.

“You can transmit viruses or you can pick it up from somebody else and infect yourself by touching a mucus membrane in your nose or your mouth,” Dr. Terbush said.

At this time of year, it’s not a bad idea to put some space between you and others.

“I think a little bit of social distancing is a good thing in the winter. Give people a break, give them a little space, maybe two or three feet because you don’t know who’s sick and who isn’t,” Dr. Terbush said. On top of that, it’s probably best to avoid shaking hands.

But unfortunately, some of us are more susceptible to these viruses than others.

“Kids tend to transmit viruses even more, and I would particularly be concerned about the elderly. They have a lowered immune response, and they particularly need to be protected this time of year,” Dr. Terbush said.

The number one thing you can do to protect yourself: “My number one health tip is to get your flu shot. It’s still not too late,” Dr. Terbush said.

El Paso County Public Health is offering a flu vaccine clinic on Tuesday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

They will also be offering reduced-cost shots to people who are under or uninsured.

Plus, it wouldn’t hurt to disinfect everything around you.

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