Sanitation key to combating flu germs at gym, trainer says

Jacksonville gym working to curtail spread of flu this season

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As the flu epidemic continues to send people to the hospital all across the U.S., one local gym is working to curtail the spread of the flu.

Flu germs can spread quickly at the gym, especially since so many people are touching the same equipment. That's why one gym in Jacksonville is going all out when it comes to sanitation.

Juma Prior is a personal trainer and front desk manager at NewJax Gym. He said when he’s not working with clients, he’s making sure every piece of equipment is sanitary to prevent the spread of flu.

“I definitely try to make sure I get the handles really well, because they have multiple hands touching them all day," Prior told News4Jax on Monday. "Sometimes even the base parts of the machine need to be wiped because sweat flings, and spots you would not think, like this knob here, that’s touched a lot by members.”

In addition to handles and knobs, every bench a person sits on gets wiped over and over again. Prior said it’s all part of a sanitation checklist to keep gym members from getting sick.

“You have to, because we’re in an area where air and humidity clings together, which bacteria breeds off of, so we make sure we break down a compound element to make sure there is no element,” Prior said.

Touching someone’s sweat at the gym is sometimes inevitable, but if you do, make sure to clean your hands immediately to prevent the spread of germs.

On Monday, News4Jax also got  new numbers on flu activity in Florida.

It was just a few days ago a 12-year-old boy in Palm Beach County died of the flu.

According to the Florida Department of Health, between Jan. 14 and Jan. 20, there were 52 flu outbreaks statewide. One child who died from the flu during that time frame brought the total number of pediatric flu deaths to three for the season.

Duval County has been moderately active, while Nassau, Clay and St. Johns counties are experiencing mild flu activity.

However, Baker County is listed as having elevated activity.

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