Flu Disrupts Church Services and Soccer Games, High-Fives Banned

First Posted: Jan 16, 2013 12:48 PM EST

It's the flu season once again. That means getting a vaccine, constantly washing your hands, and keeping away from potential flu carriers- making public transportation a big no-no. Influenza, however, may not just be ruining your morning commute; it could also be ruining your fun.

Most recently, the flu has destroyed the high-five. A Manhattan youth soccer club has banned this show of camaraderie and sportsmanship due to the latest flu epidemic. The coaches recommend that the players touch their elbows with the opposing team instead of their hands after a game.

It isn't only sports that have suffered, though. Churches have also recommended against hugging or sharing handshakes. The Catholic and Episcopal diocese of Dallas recently sent out guidelines to clergy to recommend against physical contact. Instead, they suggest smiles and nods. In addition, some Catholic churches have stopped offering wine from a shared chalice in order to ward off potential spread of the illness.

So what can you do during this flu season? Wearing a mask seems to be a popular option. It's likely to put a damper on your style, though. Fortunately, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only recommend a face mask if you're caring for or are in close proximity to someone who has the illness. There is considerable uncertainty about how well a mask guards against the flu outside of these settings.

That said, the flu is indeed highly contagious. Making sure to wash your hands and to not share drinks will go a long way in flu prevention. 

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