Simple, smart steps to avoid cold, flu

Published 18.12.2017 00:00
Although vaccines do not provide full protection against the flu, they are effective in most cases.
Although vaccines do not provide full protection against the flu, they are effective in most cases.

Winter means that at least one of the people you share the same space with will eventually catch a cold or the flu no matter how much you protect yourself and the best way to avoid winter illnesses is to get to know the viruses and learn how they spread

During winter, I can write about the cold and flu for pages and it still would not be enough. Especially parents who have school-age children make every effort to protect their children who spend the day in an environment full of viruses. The first rule to be protected from the cold and flu is to be able to keep viruses away from ourselves. There is a common belief in the society that if you are in the same environment with someone who has the flu, you will likely contact the illness. Well, do the viruses spread from person to person via air?

Contaminated hands

Sharing the same environment with an ill person can sometimes cause viruses to spread from person to person. The flu virus is mostly called rhinovirus, and this type of virus can be spread through contact. The contact in question does not necessarily have to be touching each other. Being in contact with the contaminated hand of an ill person or the things that he or she has touched without any disinfection causes rhinoviruses to exist in the environment. Therefore, the disinfection of hands is very crucial. When we touch our mouth or nose with our contaminated hands, we make a way for viruses to enter our body. In fact, our mucosa-covered hands that carry the flu virus is the primary culprit of transmission of the illness from person to person.

However, studies on this subject show that people who have a cold can spread their viruses to environments in different ways. The virus called aerosolized can spread around the environment in the shape of little liquid drops via sneeze, et cetera. When such a situation exists, you are at risk if you are close enough to be in contact with the mouth, nose or saliva of the person who sneezes.

The cold and flu are frequently confused illnesses. The biggest difference between them is that the cold has lighter symptoms. That is, while you cannot go to work when you have the flu, you can continue your life when you have a cold. The other difference is high fever. Flu causes high fever. Therefore, the use of antibiotics is more frequent in flu cases. However, when the use of antibiotics is concerned, the most reliable authority should be your doctor. We need to know how to avoid catching a cold and to teach our children how to protect themselves in troublesome environments like schools.

Have the influenza vaccine

Influenza vaccines, a recent topic of debate, continue to be advised by modern doctors who base their advice on research. Antibiotics are not always perfect in terms of imitating the virus, but they help one pull through the illness easier. Surely, we can't say everyone should be vaccinated. Consult your doctor to find out which group you are in and if vaccination does not pose any threat to your health, definitely get the influenza vaccine. Do not forget that the number of the deaths from the flu proves how serious it is.

Wash your hands

Keeping your hands clean is the first and golden rule to avoid illnesses. Studies show that women wash their hands more than men, but both of them are insufficient in this matter. According to studies, 78 percent of women wash their hands with soap after using the restroom, while in men, the same rate is only 50 percent. This is actually a thought-provoking number.

Washing your hands right is as important as washing them. Studies show that you can disinfect your hands by washing your them for 30 seconds. It was also shown in another study on people who say they wash their hands, the water and soap touch their fingertips only. That is, we do not know how to wash our hands. It was determined in the same study that our thumbs are washed the least, thus they carry the most microbes.

Drink plenty of water

Drinking water is advised in the treatment of nearly all illnesses. When the entire body is examined, it is seen that all organs apart from the skin are covered by a wet layer. This wet layer is like a shield and helps to prevent any invader trying to enter from outside. Studies show that those who do not drink enough water are more prone to infections.Eat healthy

What you eat is really important to protect your bodily health. Eating healthy means getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs. You need to feed your immune system, with vitamins and minerals, your only weapon against illnesses. These are mostly found in fruits and vegetables. When the matter is nutrition, the golden rule is variety. Try to eat vegetables and fruits in various colors and do not forget to add dried fruits to this mixture.

Clip your nails

Washing your hands alone is not enough! Your nails also touch everywhere you contact and it is almost impossible to fully disinfect your nails while washing the hands. Therefore, you should have short nails that you can disinfect while washing your hands instead of the long ones where microbes can survive easily.

Keep your environment clean

The cleaner the environment you live, the safer you will be. The cleanliness of common environments and items require particular attention.

Learn to cope with stress

Stress is one of the biggest troubles of our age. It can neither be avoided nor can one continue to live with it. Studies show that stress is among the first reasons of various illnesses. Stress is the trigger of several illnesses from chronic pain to depression. It is the worse friend of illnesses related to the immune system, like the flu. Studies also show that stress weakens the immune system.

Don't touch common surfaces

Experts say that common surfaces are very dirty and one should be careful when touching such surfaces. When opening and closing a door, use a cloth, your arms or a paper towel. When holding service istems like trays in restaurants, use napkins. The more you avoid touching such surfaces touched bu others, the more you will avoid illnesses.

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