Thursday, October 06, 2005

We Could Avoid Flu Epidemics If More People Washed Their GD Hands!

Flu season is here again. I’m not sure where it goes for the rest of the year – perhaps it rents a cottage in Martha’s Vineyard for the summer – but it’s back.

Though getting a flu shot is recommended (not by me – my last inoculation made me sick), one everyday measure you can take to prevent the flu, as doctors have been suggesting for years, is to simply wash your hands regularly.

Yep. Wash your hands. Quit passing germs around with everything and everyone you touch. Seems like a reasonable practice, considering the benefits. Still, flu viruses come back in force every year, stronger and smarter. Not only can they mutate to fool flu vaccines, they’re politically savvy; they know how to make themselves an issue in a close election.

But the flu isn’t the only reason you should wash your hands regularly…

Eat shit and die.
Two short years ago, a handful of people died after contracting hepatitis (A) at a Mexican restaurant in Pennsylvania. 650 in all were infected. Initially the cause was thought to be improper post-potty break hand washing by the kitchen staff, but a full investigation showed the cause to be shit-soaked scallions from Mexico. The point is, health experts made it known that by failing to wash your hands after doing your business, you could potentially sicken or even kill hundreds.

Paltry protection against poultry.
Now, to be sure, hand washing isn’t effective against all strains of the flu – such as the disease du jour, avian (bird) flu. I don’t know if birds get it from eating Mexican, but you should probably stay away from McNasty McNuggets and birds with runny noses to avoid catching it. And don’t visit China.

Be a good “influenca.”
Parents, you’ve been put on notice – make sure your kids wash their hands regularly. Remember, a future shortage of flu shots may be your fault. Good hygiene habits start at an early age. And, despite what some may say, regular hand washing is not a symptom of OCD. It’s a sign of civilization.

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