cold and flu prevention tips

Mother and child visiting doctor for medical consultation

Follow These Doctor Recommended Contact Rules

Human warmth. Is it over rated? Have you ever found yourself criticized for being “cold?’ Maybe you didn’t always hold hands with your boyfriend, didn’t like to share food, weren’t much of a hugger. Maybe you were just misread.

Although contact is often signed of human warmth, it is also one of the easiest ways to spread germs. So maybe your best friend doesn’t really have issues with affection, maybe she’s just being smart. Here is some doctor recommend rules for avoiding germs (and contact.)

What are Germs?
Germs are those little microscopic organisms that live all around us, most of which are not harmful, but some of which can cause infectious disease. Even though we have vaccines and medicines to cure these diseases, some of the germs seemed to have outsmarted the medical community. When this happens, we often have to take things into our own hands. That means avoiding these germs before they can get to us.

Germs’ favorite hangouts include dirt, countertops, water, our skin, and our intestines. Some can survive on their own, and others like to take up residence inside people or animals. The thing about germs is, when they find a good place, they generally stay a while.

How Germs Spread?
Getting a disease involves contact with a germ. From there, it gets into your body and does its thing. Even though our bodies are good at fighting infections, sometimes the germ fights harder. Here are some ways you may get exposed.

  • Touch 
    Some germs live in mucus, stool, and pus. That means that drops released when people cough sneeze or talk can carry germs. If you touch a contaminated object or surface and then touch an opening in the body, germs can transfer.
  • Eating and Drinking 
    Germs are often found in untreated water and food. Unwashed vegetables and fruits uncooked foods can all carry disease-causing germs.
  • Breathing 
    Although it is not suggested you stop doing this, germs can spread in the air. Coughing, sneezing, and talking can all release germs, which can cause illness when exhaled.
  • Animal Bites
    Animals can also spread infectious disease. Bites from animals, pets, and even insects can cause illness, even if the animal does not appear sick.

sick woman
Diseases can also be spread during pregnancy, from mother to child, by sharing needles, through sexual contact or through blood transfusion.

Healthy Habits

  • Food Safety. Wash utensils, hands and surfaces when preparing food. Wash all fruits and vegetables. Keep and cook foods at proper temperatures and keep perishable foods refrigerated.
  • Wash Hands.
  • Clean Commonly Used Surface Areas.Although soap and water are usually enough to kill germs on hands, bathrooms and kitchens should be disinfected regularly. Other household areas should be disinfected if someone in the household is ill.
  • Sneeze and Cough into your Sleeve.
  •  Don’t Share Personal Things. Sharing personal items that can’t be disinfected is always a bad idea. Toothbrushes, towels, razors should never be shared. Needles should be used once and discarded immediately after.
  •  Get Vaccinated. Vaccines should be gotten regularly in childhood. Some are also recommended for adults, and in special situations like travel and pregnancy.
  •  Avoid Touching Animals. You and your pets should avoid contact with wild animals which may cause germs. Consult a doctor if you are bitten, and make sure all pet vaccinations are updated.
  •  Stay home when sick.

What are you doing to avoid contact? Are fist pumps and handshakes soon to be a thing of the past? Let us know what you think!

Woman sneezing into napkin

Staying Well During Cold And Flu Season

It’s finally Fall! Season of the Pumpkin spice everything! Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice ice cream, hey, you even think you saw some pumpkin spice potato chips the other day! Not only that but fall also means you can let that bikini bod slide just a little bit, maybe relax the intensity on the treadmill a little, cut the routine from 5 times a week to 3. Trade in those Daisy Dukes for some classic fall sweaters and jackets. And, best of all, you get to cuddle with your new significant other while looking at decorative gourds.

There’s only one catch; you’re sick. Your throat hurts, your nose is stuffed and doesn’t feel like leaving your bed. Worst of all, the thought of pumpkin spice is turning your stomach. What can you do?

1.Flu shot
Get a flu shot. The flu shot is the most effective way of flu prevention. They are available at most pharmacies.

2.Wash your hands
There is no such thing as washing your hands too much. No matter what professional environment, you are in, you run the risk of being exposed to contagion. Doctors and nurses constantly keep soap and water in the close vicinity. To completely rid skin of viruses, scrub for at least 20 seconds. Dr. Alan Pocinki,MD recommends singing “The Birthday Song” twice while thoroughly washing under nails and between fingers, although you may get strange looks if you do this in public.

3. Hand Sanitizer
An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can kill germs from cold and flu.

4. Avoid Close Contact with Sick People
Tery Remy, MD, director of Medical Associates at Beauregard in Alexandria VA gives advice on how to politely turn down a handshake. “Just explain, ‘To keep transmission of colds and flu down, I’m not shaking hands. But hello! Nice to meet you!’ They understand.”

5. Keep Your Environment Clean
If you want to stay well, roll up those sleeves and get scrubbing! Paramedic Beth Geoghegan starts every day by cleaning her office with germ-killing soaps. If her day has included visits with flu bearing patients, she, “takes her uniform off the minute I get home, put it in the wash, and get right in the shower.” Geoghagan advises, “looking at your environment and thinking, ‘What could be contaminated? All it takes is a tiny droplet. It may already look clean, but it might not be.”

6.Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Keeping up a strong immune system is one of the most important ways to avoid sickness. Low protein diets can deplete your immune system. Stick to high protein options like fish, yogurt, and eggs. In addition, make sure to get enough rest, don’t smoke, and keep allergies under control. Allergies cause inflammation of the upper respiratory system which sets the body up for getting a virus.

7.Drink Tea
Ah, steaming tea with milk and honey. Just mention it and you start to feel better. Inhaling steam helps the cilia to move germs out of the nose more efficiently. Honey gets rid of bacteria and lemon helps to thin mucus. So, start getting better so you can join the pumpkin explosion!