HOUSTON -- If you're trying to keep from ringing in the New Year with a new bug, you ll want to safeguard yourself from certain surfaces brimming with bacteria and viruses.

Did you know the flu virus can stay on surfaces for up to eight hours?

Somebody with flu rubs their nose, blows their nose, sneezes, touches a surface and you touch it within eight hours -- you can catch the flu, said Dr. Yana Finkelshteyn with the Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

Microwave buttons are one area that has a lot of bacteria on it, according to Dr. Finkelshteyn. Because of that, she recommends reaching for the microwave differently.

Use a napkin or use a pencil, said Dr. Yana Finkelshteyn. Whatever you do wash your hands.

Nowadays we're seeing both traditional hand soap and hand sanitizer in public places, but which one should you use?

Dr. Finkelshteyn said, I would say first use the soap and water, and really thoroughly wash your hands. Then after you're done, slap on some hand sanitizer so it gives you a little bit of time where germs aren't going to stick.

For more on how to protect yourself against germs in public places, click on the video icon.

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