Doctors stress importance of flu shots

Posted at: 10/17/2012 5:59 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, Eyewitness News 4

Flu season is off to a mercifully slow and quiet start in New Mexico, but doctors are still urging residents to take some common sense precautions.

A team from Lovelace Health System paid a visit to Montezuma Elementary school in Albuquerque Wednesday, with a hands-on lesson for students.

Volunteers blew their noses into their hands, and a black light called Germ Glow did the rest. It was a "third-grader gross out" as kids saw germ activity up close and personal. The lesson? Wash your hands - and wash them again.

"You sneeze on your hand and it lands on something - you touch it, touch your mouth, drink a Coke - whatever - it's now in you," said Dr. John Iacuone of Lovelace Hospital.

Schools are breeding grounds for germs, bacteria and viruses. Doctors said it's fertile territory for spreading the flu.

"They're in a room," Dr. Iacuone said. " There's no open air, so when they cough or sneeze it goes all over the place and then if they cough on their hands and touch, you've got 30 or 40 people in a closed space picking all that up.'

It's the 4th annual "Don't Bug Me" campaign for Lovelace, aimed at getting kids to spread the hand-washing message to their friends and families.

Doctors said another great way to fight flu is to get a flu shot. The vaccine is in good supply statewide. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about it.

For more information, visit http://immunizenm.org/flu.shtml or www.lovelace.com.