Doctors urge parents to clean winter clothing to prevent spread of flu

Doctors urge parents to clean winter clothing to prevent spread of flu. (WSYX/WTTE)

Concerns continue to grow across central Ohio over one of the worst flu season's in recent memory. The virus has claimed the lives of three children here in the state. Experts now pointing out another potential cause of the spread, clothing. Doctors told ABC 6 that especially when it comes to kids, those winter hats, coats and gloves can be a bit part of the problem if they are not properly clean.

As the temperatures drop and the snow falls, the layers of clothing typically add up. However, something parents may want to keep in mind is what may literally be following their kids around on their clothing.

"The thing that's unusual this year is how rapidly it spread and how it really saturated every region," said Ohio State professor, Dr. Michael Oglesbee.

Dr. Oglesbee, is the director of the Infectious Diseases Institute at OSU. Oglesbee told ABC 6 that the flu virus can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours, possibly longer. That is why he said it is crucially important that winter gear is cleaned several times throughout the winter season. He also stressed that prevention is key to stopping the spread as well.

"If you have young children, they should be vaccinated and that's first and foremost," said Dr. Oglesbee.

Mother of three Johnna Sprocket, is certainly heeding all the warnings. She told ABC 6 that she works to make sure her youngsters winter wear is as germ free as it can be.

With a constant wash routine.

"Definitely more than once or twice a season. I'd say once a month or as needed," said Sprocket.

Dr. Oglesbee also told ABC 6 that this flu season will stretch until about April or possibly even May. So, there's still plenty of time to get a flu shot if you haven't already.

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