• Ways to flu-proof your home


    None - PITTSBURGH -- Flu season is in full effect, and doctors said there are many ways to help keep your family healthy by flu-proofing your home.

    Dr. Marc Itskowicz, of Allegheny General Hospital, said viruses can live for long length of times on surfaces in the home.

    "We know that the flu and bacteria can survive on surfaces for periods of time," said Itskowicz.

    The doctor recommends disinfecting door knobs, keyboards and remote controls frequently. Itskowicz said homeowners should also change out mops and cleaning cloths on a regular basis.

    Kitchen sponges can hold onto germs for extended periods of time. Good Housekeeping magazine recommends putting those sponges into a regular dishwasher load using the heated dry setting to disinfect.

    If a family member does become ill, experts suggest washing their clothes and sheets in hot water at 150 degrees and drying them for 45 minutes.

    Parents should also encourage their children to wash their hands frequently at home and in the classroom.

    Itskowicz said it's also important to get a flu shot so you can remain protected even if the flu comes into your home.

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