(MOBILE, Ala.) - Health officials recently stated any hard surface you touch in a public place is a breeding ground for bacteria and increases your risk of getting the flu.
"You don't realize how easily this flu is spread and, it's a virulent strain this year. It's tougher than any flu we've seen in about 10 years," said Director of Disease Control Monica Knight.
Officials stated cell phones, work phones, computers, door knobs, shopping carts, guard rails, and even menus and condiments at restaurants carry a tremendous amount of bacteria.
Each object has been touched by numerous people, and experts believe the best way to avoid the germs is to minimize what you directly touch in public places.
Knight said to stay clean and free from bacteria is to sanitize before and after using the restroom and to use a paper towel to touch everything inside. That includes soap dispensers and faucet handles which contain fecal matter.
Experts suggest you routinely disinfect everything on your desk at work.
"The flu virus can actually remain viral on those surfaces for up to two, three, four hours," said Knight.
Knight stated it is very important to keep your hands off your face, and wash your hands often.