Germs are Jumping: Watch What You Touch

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Doorknobs, shopping carts and ATMs are all places that harbor germs and can make you sick, especially as the flu continues to spread.

There’s good news and bad news though. The bad news: the flu is getting worse in Florida. The good news is it’s still not as bad as last year and Leon County hasn't seen many cases, but all that could change as flu season is still underway.

“I worry about door handles and faucets in bathrooms and grocery carts 'cause you don't know who had the cart before you or who opened the door before you," said Tallahassee resident Alyssa McManus.

McManus is a mother of two always concerned about keeping her kids healthy.

"I've been teaching my daughter and my son to grab a paper towel when they wash their hands. Grab that paper towel and open the doors with that. We try to wipe down the carts when we remember to if we have disinfecting wipes with me."

Health officials say wiping down the carts is a good idea, especially since touching handles is one way the flu is spread.

"Shopping cart handles, but any doorknob, anything that a lot of people touch, perhaps an ATM," said Leon County Health Department Director Marjorie Kirsch.

Even office computers are germ-infested places, and with the peak of flu season hitting in Florida, there's still time to get protection and time to make sure you don't get bit by the bug.

Kirsch says the best defense is washing your hands for about 15 seconds using soap and water.

“The very best method to protect yourself is to wash your own hands, particularly before eating or before touching your eyes, nose or mouth."

Whether you’re shaking hands or opening a public mailbox, you don't want to put your hands near your nose or mouth until you wash thoroughly.

Flu shot manufacturers make a new shot every year to protect against the most common strains going around.

The Leon County Health Department says so far, even the most vulnerable, such as the elderly and also pregnant women who have gotten the shot this year, have been protected.