Sick? Germs on your winter wear could be to blame


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — If you’ve never washed your hat, gloves, or winter coat doctors say it could be part of the reason why you’re getting sick.

“I don’t think I ever have to tell you the truth. I didn’t know you were supposed to do that,” said Amy Holt of Buffalo.

“Usually we only wash it maybe like once a year right in the beginning of winter after storage,” said Jessica Main of Buffalo.

Doctor James Scwiencicki says this winter has been a rough one when it comes to the flu and viruses, and your winter wear like your coat, gloves and hats could be partly to blame.

“This clothing can harbor bacteria, viruses that can be spread and can be a mode for transmission of infection,” said James Swiencicki, M.D., Infectious Disease Specialist.

“It’s not that surprising to hear but it’s not something you think about cause you’re wiping your hand on your nose all the time in the winter,” said Main.

Doctors recommend washing winter items like gloves every week, and your winter coat at least a 3 times during the season.

“I’ve never thought about it to tell you the truth until you just mentioned it but it’s food for thought,” said Holt.

Doctor Scwiencicki says even if you were already sick with a virus like bronchitis and got past it, if you haven’t washed your winter wear since then you could get sick again!

“Certainly if they’re not cleansed appropriately that is possible that you could reinfect yourself after getting over such an infection,” said Swiencicki.

In public places you’re exposed to thousands of germs, doctors recommend washing your hands frequently and cleaning your winter wear often to keep germs away.

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