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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn - Everyone wants to avoid getting sick this winter. With that in mind, Dr.Evan, Ear Nose & Throat doctor with Specialty Care of Minnesota joined us on KARE News@4 with some tips for staying healthy.

PROTECT YOUR SKIN:
1. We've heard that cold and flu germs can remain on surfaces for up to 48 hrs or more, and can be passed from person to person when touching the face or mouth - what are easy tips to keep our skin germ free?
a. During cold & flu season around the house and at the office, use disposable tissues, paper towels and cleaning wipes vs. hankies, cloth towels and sponges.
b. Regularly clear germs and bacteria on surfaces like doorknobs, tabletops, and remote controls.

PROTECT YOUR NOSE:
2. Why is "mucus" so important to our health?

3. When the air we breathe is very dry, it can pull moisture from your nose. Is it true that a dry nose has trouble moving mucus effectively?
a. Dried out nasal passages and thickened mucus will be less able to sweep out germs, leaving you more susceptible to disease.
b. We want a good, clear "flow" of mucus to wash out germs.

4. If we catch a cold, what can we do?
a. NEW & GROWING RECOMMENDATIONS: NASAL RINSE- Keep nasal passages moist with nasal rinses - look for ENT recommended over-the-counter medicated rinses with essential oils, like Alkalol. Using a nasal wash before bed and/or in the morning helps clear bacteria and germs that when left unattended, can lead to infection (Dr. Evan can also explain the new medical guidelines regarding antihistamines, nasal sprays & other decongestants that can rebound and worsen congestion when used 3days+).
b. USE A SCARF: help warm the air you breathe in cold weather by wearing a scarf over your nose and mouth.
c. HYDRATE: Drinking plenty of water, as well as water-saturated fruits and veggies (berries, grapes, bell peppers - also rich in vitamins and antioxidants) will help to keep mucus thin and fluid to wash out germs.

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