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Cold and Flu Tips from Clorox Spokesperson and ER Physician, Dr. Darria Long Gillespie

Dr. D
Posted on February 9, 2021

As advocates for public health – and since the flu vaccine is especially important this year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, The Clorox Company has donated $1M to help provide access to flu vaccines and spread awareness this cold & flu season. Clorox has previously provided support annually to raise awareness for cold & flu prevention, and this year, Clorox continued their partnership with Families Fighting Flu along with other organizations to provide awareness and education around the importance of the flu vaccine.

Clorox spokesperson and ER physician Dr. Darria Long Gillespie shares expert tips to keep you and your family healthy.

What are some tips and best practices you recommend for people to follow to prevent both the flu and COVID-19?

When talking to my patients and friends and family about protecting themselves from the flu and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, many best practices may be the same. Here are a few of my recommendations to help prevent both viruses.

  • Don’t Skip the Flu Shot: Your first line of protection against illness is to get an annual flu shot, not only to reduce your risk of getting the flu, but also to help protect your community and conserve potentially scarce healthcare resources. This is especially important now since many of the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are hard to tell apart.
  • Maintain Regular Healthy Habits: The best defense is a good offense, and the same is true when preparing for cold & flu season. Aiming for a well-balanced diet full of real, non-processed foods, staying hydrated, getting physical activity and exercise, and keeping a regular sleep schedule (yes – it bears repeating!) are all key for keeping illness at bay. Disinfecting high-touch surfaces with an EPA-approved disinfectant to kill SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, such as Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, can help also support prevention, especially if you have members of the household leaving frequently for work or school.
  • What’s Up, Doc?: More than ever before, it’s important that you and your family attend your annual physical exams and other necessary medical appointments. These are crucial to keep up to date on your prescriptions and general wellbeing, identify any potential medical issues early, and monitor recurring medical issues. Contact your doctor to see if they are open for in-person or telehealth appointments – many have a variety of options now.
  • Create a Prevention Pack: Keep illness prevention items (such as face masks or shields, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves and wipes) in one centralized spot at home – but also in easy-to-reach areas (such as the center console of your car or inside your purse/backpack) for when you’re on the go.
  • Develop a Household Plan: Make sure everyone in your household and immediate family is on the same page about how to best prevent the spread of illness within your home. Consider discussing at least an informal “household contract,” where each member will alert the household if they come into contact with an ill person or start showing symptoms. This is important to help protect everyone in your household and visitors to your home, particularly those who are at-risk (such as different generation relatives) and will allow you time to prepare should any family member need to self-quarantine.

What are common questions people have about keeping their house clean and safe?

We are spending more time at home – and cleaning the home – than ever before. This has caused common confusion around the differences between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting – did you know that there’s a difference?

  • Cleaning removes dust, debris and dirt from a surface by scrubbing, washing and rinsing. Your Saturday dust bunny removal is a good example.
  • Sanitizing reduces the bacteria identified on the product’s label on surfaces and in laundry. A great place to sanitize is often your kitchen.
  • Disinfecting destroys or inactivates both the bacteria and viruses identified on the product’s label on hard, nonporous surfaces. This is a great option for high-touch surfaces where you may come in contact with communicable germs like influenza or SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. You’ll want to look for an EPA certified disinfectant like Clorox Disinfecting Bleach.

Why does Clorox support Families Fighting Flu?

Clorox has partnered with FFF for over 15 years to help spread information on the importance of flu prevention for the entire family. This year, Clorox also supported FFF’s efforts to drive awareness for and provide vaccinations to communities who were hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.

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