Don't want the flu? Don't touch your face

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DENISON, TX -- The Grayson County Health Department has only received a limited supply of the H1N1 vaccine so far. So health officials say while they wait for more doses, people need to take their own precautions, such as keeping your hands away from your face.

The H1N1 flu is, like all seasonal flu, an air born disease.

"You know when you think air born maybe it's in the air condition filters and stuff, but a lot of this it's more people coughing or sneezing,” said Biology professor at Grayson County College Jackie Butler.

And that means if you don’t want the flu, don’t touch your face.

"You can inoculate yourself with the virus with a virus such as the flu or the novel H1n1 virus by touching your nose your mouth and your eyes and studies suggest that an individual that they touch their face up to 16 times and hour,” said Grayson County Health Inspector Amanda Ortez.

So to keep your hands clean, Ortez says the solution is simple.

"Hand washing protects you before you touch your face... so try to refrain from touching your face your nose your eyes and your mouth,” said Ortez.

Health officials also say washing your hands is less about not spreading your own germs and more about protecting yourself.

Biologist Jackie Butler says the alcohol and antibiotics in soaps and sanitizers are key, but there's more to it than that.

"The physical rubbing and washing actually rinses things away so I think the big thing is that you're actually doing something,” said Butler.

And even with all the hand washing advisories out there, Ortez says some people still don't take heed.

"A lot of people even today I see out in the public they still utilize their hand instead of trying to cough into the crook of their elbow and sneeze into the crook of their elbow. They're dispensing that virus if they are sick,” said Ortez.

Health officials say to wash your hands with warm water, for at least 20 seconds, and scrub in between your fingers, wrists and nails.

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