You know the flu season has hit again when everyone around you seems to be sneezing, wheezing, blowing and looking just terrible. Chances are, you may also catch that bug if you aren’t extra careful with your surrounding and hygiene. Here are some tips on how your can avoid or minimise your chances of catching a cold or the flu this season.
1. Wash your hands
Frequent and proper hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of infectious disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Hand-washing is especially important:
- After you’ve been to a busy or public place.
- After you’ve been in close proximity with someone who is infectious.
- Before you eat.
- Before you touch your mouth, nose or eyes.
- After using the bathroom, coughing or sneezing.
No access to soap and water? Try stashing a bottle of hand sanitiser or a packet of personal wipes in your bag for emergencies. However, be sure to use enough hand sanitiser to cover the entire surface of your hands, and rub them until dry.
2. Disinfect your home
Harmful bacteria and viruses can easily be transferred from your hands to other surfaces such as door handles, counter-tops, phones and computer keyboard. The kitchen, in particular, is a hotspot for bacteria and viruses. Prevent cross-contamination by designating a cutting board, knives and utensils for raw foods and disinfected them after each use. Bathtubs, sinks, and toilet bowls can be cleaned with disinfecting wipes or a surface spray, while bathroom floors should be washed with a mix of bleach and water. Also, try spraying trash cans an d pet-designated areas with disinfectants regularly. Don’t forget other surfaces in the house you and your family come into contact with the most, such as light switches and door knobs.
3. Avoid crowded areas
Virus spreads via respiratory liquid droplets and direct contact. So, the best way to keep it at arm’s length is to avoid crowded public places, such as shopping malls, airports, hospitals and cinemas. When you do, wear a mask, ensuring that it’s properly positioned and secured so that it forms an effective barrier. Another way to keep your body germ-resistant is to boost your immune system. You can do this by eating a balanced nutrient-rich diet, practicing healthy lifestyle habits, and taking supplements that are rich in immune system-boosting antioxidants such as vitamin C and E. If you do develop a fever, monitor your temperature closely and seek treatment immediately.
4. Stop touching your face
Your hands touch all sorts of surfaces throughout the day, making them very likely to come into contact with bacteria and viruses. By touching an infected surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth, you could be infecting yourself and those around you. Try to be more conscious of your actions and stop yourself when you realise that your friend is about to touch your face. Wash your hands with soap or a hand wash with a strong fragrance so that you’ll know when you’re about to touch your face. And, ask your family and friends to alert you when they notice you touching your face.