As we’ve passed into November and the beginning of a series of seasonal gatherings, we put ourselves at risk for acquiring and sharing a variety of germs, bacteria, and viruses…most notably the flu. Did you get your shot this year?

Many will take the time to wipe down surfaces in their homes, in their cars, in their offices, but when you do get sick enough to go to the doctor or hospital, are you certain that everything in the exam area has really been cleaned and disinfected?

It’s easy to assume that a hospital is 100% sterile; after all, it’s what we are taught to expect. But let’s be practical for a minute. Is the privacy curtain changed between each patient being seen in the exam room? If it is (and it might be), was the person doing the changing wearing sterile scrubs and protective gear? If not, then the moment that curtain was touched, a new set of bacteria, germs, and viruses took up residence.

Our point is this: handwashing, as the article suggests, is your best defense against catching or spreading a virus or other microscopic villains…so wash your hands often and thoroughly.