10 High-tech ways to combat flu season

Nov 13, 2015 at 9:09 a.m. ET
Image: Westend61/Getty Imsage

Break out your vitamins, hand sanitizer, slippers and Snuggies — flu season is upon us. In the old days, not much could be done to avoid this pesky virus. You just had to ride it out. But now, we have technology. Here are five products for prevention and five for recovery to help you tackle this flu season head-on.

1. Belkin washable mouse

Image: Amazon

Research shows that the average computer mouse carries three times as many germs as a toilet seat. And yet, we touch them every day and rarely clean them. That’s what makes the Belkin washable mouse so great. You can clean it with soap and water without worrying about damaging it. And it still functions like any other mouse with the same features. (Amazon, $75)

2. Tenergy UV cell phone sanitizer

Image: Sears

Just like your mouse your cellphone is covered in germs. But since many cellphones aren’t waterproof, sanitizing them can be tricky. Because sanitizing wipes, like Lysol, have alcohol and ammonia in them, they can actually damage your phone screen. To clean your phone safely, use a UV sanitizer instead. The Tenergy UV sanitizer kills up to 99.9 percent of germs and even comes with a small insert to use to clean your earbuds. (Sears, $17)

3. Verilux CleanWave sanitizing wand

Image: Amazon

It’s impossible to keep your hands germ-free with hand sanitizers alone. The minute you touch something, you begin collecting those germs all over again. So why not kill germs on the objects you touch most throughout your home? The Verilux CleanWave sanitizing wand can help. It uses UV-C light to kill up to 99.9 percent of germs and allergens, and is a chemical-free way to clean countertops, doorknobs, remote controls, telephones, keyboards and even upholstery. (Amazon, $100)

4. GermGuardian pluggable UV-C air sanitizer

Image: WalMart

Sanitizing the gadgets you touch is only part of the equation. A lot of germs are airborne, and air sanitizers can run from $100-$300 on average. What’s nice about the GermGuardian pluggable air sanitizer is that it’s affordable and compact. It may be small, but plug it in to clear up to 456 cubic feet of air per hour. The device rids your space of airborne bacteria, mold spores, mildew and odors. Use one for high-traffic areas in your home and take one to the office to plug in at work. It's perfect for open concept working spaces and cubicles, where germs are passed around as if they were candy. (Walmart, $40)

5. Withings Aura connected alarm clock

Image: Amazon

You can’t stay healthy if you don’t get enough rest. But sometimes it’s hard to “power down” and relax. That’s where the Aura alarm clock comes in. It monitors your room’s temperature, luminosity and sound levels and makes adjustments to those conditions to help you fall asleep faster. Come morning, the Aura also wakes you up gently by adjusting the light and playing music. You can connect it to your Spotify account, and the clock even pairs with a censor that evaluates each sleep cycle, sending your data about how well you’re sleeping through a smartphone app. (Amazon, $190)

5 recovery ideas:

1. Holmes WeMo infrared space heater

Image: Target

If you have a fever, one minute you’re freezing and the next you’re throwing off the covers. But the last thing you want to do is get out of bed to adjust the temperature. With the Holmes WeMo space heater, you won’t have to. This compact heater has a corresponding app that allows you to adjust the temperature with your smartphone. (Target, $200)

2. USB heated shawl and lap blanket

Image: Amazon

Calling in sick doesn’t mean what it used to. These days, it means working from home. Maybe you’re not in the office, but you’re still on your laptop finishing up that report and responding to emails. The USB heated blanket plugs into any USB port, which means you can stay cozy anywhere you go. (Amazon, $25)

3. Tablet pillow

Image: Komando

To recover, you really should take it easy. This is the time to catch up on your sleep, as well as your favorite TV shows. But don't kink your neck while you binge on Netflix. This pillow makes using your tablet more comfortable by propping it up at the perfect viewing angle and molding comfortably to your lap. It's designed to fit most 9- to 11-inch tablets and has a built-in pocket to hold accessories, such as headphones. (Komando, $20)

4. Breville One-Touch tea maker

Image: Amazon

The doctor said to drink a lot of fluids, but you don’t want to be in and out of the kitchen to make yourself another cup of tea. Plug the Breville tea maker in and keep it on your nightstand until you recover. It’s fully programmable for various types of teas and temperatures and makes an entire kettle with just one touch. (Amazon, $233

5. Smartphone apps

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Although there are numerous apps out there that promote a healthy lifestyle, four are essential downloads during flu season. Kinsa Smart Thermometer records your temperature and medication data. Doctor on Demand allows you to skip the emergency room and video chat with a doctor. FluView lets you see where flu outbreaks are happening. And Sickweather scans social media networks for indicators of illness, allowing you to avoid areas where you might be exposed to the virus. For more details and download information, take a look at my latest article on Komando.com.

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