Trying to get through a Minnesota winter without getting sick can be tough-- but these things we use every day might be making things worse!

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If you're like me, you probably have a closet filled with all sorts of cold weather gear, from several different jackets, parkas, and coats, to gloves and mittens, plus scarves, hats and more. (A couple of thermal facemasks and ski goggles are also in there somewhere too.)

But could the very things we use to stay warm also have a hand in making us... sick?

Could be! Because according to this Ladders health story, all those winter accessories are chock full 'o germs! "Flu germs can live on your gloves for two to three days and stomach viruses including rotavirus and norovirus can stay there up to four weeks," the story noted.

But wait-- there's more. That scarf you dutifully wrap around your face could also be hiding all sorts of nasty things. Why? "Scarves come in contact with your hair and lips and let’s face it, many of us use them as a couch receptacle which literally just puts the germs right back in us," the story said.

There is a way, though, to stay snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug (as my grandma used to say) during a cold, Minnesota winter: Wash those winter accessories! It makes total sense, but (and I'm a bit ashamed to admit this) yet I can't remember the last time I washed my hats and gloves. How about you?!?

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