Doctor suggests fist bumping as flu prevention

KVEO News Center 23

POSTED: Monday, March 17, 2014 - 4:22pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 7:04am

The Texas Department of State Health Services says both Influenza A and Influenza B are hitting the area right now, that could mean a lot of full waiting rooms in the valley. One doctor, however uses some unusual methods to keep himself from catching colds from patients.

“When I get near to a patient to examine them, I hold my breath until I'm far enough away from them, and then I breathe again. I want to make sure that I'm not inhaling particles,” said Dr. Paul Lenz from the Central Valley Medical Clinic.

Holding your breath around sick patients is actually a practice several of Dr. Lenz’s nurses do as well. “The closer proximity there is to the patient, the higher the probability that they suddenly sneeze or cough. And the more of a chance that you are going to be wearing the disease particles,” said Dr. Lenz.

That is only one of several theory that he preaches to cut down on catching the flu. “Instead of shaking the hands, people now do the little fist bump that would actually cut down on some of the spread of the disease,” said Dr. Lenz.

According to Dr. Lenz, the fist-bump or giving someone a fist pound as some people call it, theoretically might give everyone a better chance at staying healthy.

“I don't have any study to prove that this is true, but it just makes a lot of sense to me. You should not touch things that are covered in germs,” said Dr. Lenz.

The idea behind Dr. Lenz's theory is quite simple. If a person has a cold, and fists bumps a co-worker, then the person will have the germs on the outside instead of the inside of their hands. According to Dr. Lenz, people grasp more with the inside, rather than hitting things with the outside of their hands. So there is less of a chance of diseases being transferred.

Some of Dr. Lenz’s patients and co-workers are big fans of this theory.“Fist bumping is a mom and daughter kind of thing. But now that I see it ‘germ-wise’. I think I'm going to do it more often,” said Mary Espinoza who is both a nurse for Dr. Lenz and a patient of the doctor.

The Texas Department of State Health Services says cases of the flu are down from previous months and last year. It is not too late for a person to get their flu shot.

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