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With Thanksgiving nearing and the holiday season upon us, many people will be hitting the malls for shopping, the airways for travel, and interacting with large groups of people for the next six weeks.

So how can you avoid getting sick during the holidays?

Concentra has put together a list of the Top 5 places where people can catch the flu virus – places where people are vulnerable, what type of surfaces are the most likely culprits, and what a person can do to help prevent illness.

Of course, the best suggestion for dodging the flu bug remains getting a flu shot – NOW.

Concentra has a center in Rocklin and four more in Sacramento, and is currently administering flu shots at these centers below:

* Rocklin: 916 632-9606
* East Sacramento: 916 364-1733
* Sacramento downtown: 916 451-4580
* North Sacramento: 916 929-6161
* West Sacramento: 916 373-7575

Top 5 Areas to Catch the Flu

  1. Airplanes
    * Airplane bathrooms are actually the most contaminated of all public bathrooms. That’s because people from all over the world use them and the blue flushing fluid can put e-coli moisture into the air … which is already 50% re-circulated.
    * Cramped seating makes it easy to get coughed on by the person next to you.
    * Re-circulating air: moisture/water droplets in the air filters can harbor different flu germs
  2. Grocery Store, Gas station or Mall
    * Shopping carts are re-used often and are rarely cleaned.
    * Child seats are a culprit for young children who put things in their mouths wherever they are.
    * ATMS / Credit Card Pads are used all the time by many people and never cleaned.
    * Gas station pump handles are always being touched and not cleaned.
    * Your cell phone after touching handles, greeting people, and touching produce or other products and then putting them back.
  3. Office
    * Keyboards at work often have more bacteria than toilets.
    * Telephones catch water droplets when you talk, and bacteria sits there and multiplies when you’re on a call.
    * Office kitchen mugs/utensils are dirtier than a typical home kitchen because dishes sit for longer and it’s always the same sponge.
  4. Home
    * Kitchens are usually more bacteria filled than bathrooms, especially refrigerator handles, which people forget to clean.
    * TV remotes are a great way to transfer germs, like after eating a bag of chips than grabbing the device.
    * Shoe bottoms typically can track anything into your home.
  5. Elevators, Escalators and Other Transportation
    * Everyone presses the buttons but rarely does anyone clean them!
    * Children commonly use the railing and bring sickness home with them.
    * Handles and seats in taxis, buses and trains