Bio Briefs

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Flinn Foundation

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The germaphobe's guide to flu-free living

Tags: infectious disease, university of arizona

[Source: Pioneer Press] - H1N1 is here. Minnesotans who once scoffed at the idea of using a hand sanitizer are now looking at doorknobs suspiciously and refusing to eat their co-workers' baked goods.

Germaphobia has become less of a joke and more of a mantra. That's because there have been 10 deaths and more than 600 H1N1 hospitalizations in Minnesota. More than 700 schools have reported outbreaks of the flu, which the Minnesota Department of Health said were most likely H1N1 cases because it's the most common influenza strain going around. With flu season officially kicking off Oct. 4 and a Minnesota winter headed our way, those numbers will continue to grow.

We asked germaphobic readers to send us places they fear the most and also asked Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor at the University of Arizona who is known as "Dr. Germ," which fears are legitimate and which aren't such a big deal.

For more information: The germaphobe's guide to flu-free living