Cold & Flu Prevention

Germs are a constant threat to us making our fight with them a never-ending battle.  Just because others around you (and maybe yourself) have already started sneezing, coughing, developing a sore throat, and getting sick with a cold or the flu, doesn’t mean you are next. Being proactive, vigilant and aware of protecting yourself from those miniscule critters helps all of us in the battle we face daily fighting off infectious diseases.

Here are important steps each of us need to practice daily to reduce the spread of germs keeping all of us much healthier:

·         Get your flu shot

Getting a yearly flu shot is the single most effective way to prevent or minimize the spread of this contagious and potentially deadly disease.  The flu shot is also available as a nasal spray but ask your healthcare provider if it is suitable for you.

·         Wash hands frequently

This is another highly effective method of stopping the spread of germs in their tracks.  Frequent hand-washing is a must throughout the day.  Think of everything you touch daily and the amount of germs and bacteria our hands come into contact with.  Keep hands away from your nose, eyes, and mouth as these are potential points of entry for germs.

It’s very important to wash our hands:

·         After wiping or blowing our nose, coughing or sneezing

·         After using the restroom

·         After shaking hands or touching someone who is sick

·         After touching door knobs, railings, elevator buttons, phones, or other items handled by people

·         Before and after mealtimes

·         Before preparing food and do not prepare food for others if you are sick

·         After handling or taking out the trash

Wash hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand     sanitizer.

 ·         Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing

Feel a sneeze or cough coming on but you’re nowhere near a tissue?  Then cough or sneeze into your upper arm, not your hands.  Avoid leaving used tissues lying around by instead throwing them away in a wastebasket.

·         Stay home if you are sick

Another very effective way to slow down the spread of germs is to stay home when you are sick.   It does no one any good if you come to work or are out in public if you are running a fever or are not feeling well.  Close contact with others when you are ill, can potentially spread your illness to someone who may have a weakened immune system making them vulnerable to becoming sick.

If you need help with getting food or medicine, ask others who are healthy to bring those items to you.  This way you can get the rest you need for a full recovery.  They can leave the things you need outside your door to avoid exposing them to your sickness. 

While recuperating at home, avoid sharing eating utensils, drinking glasses, towels or other personal items with others.  Rest as needed, eating plenty of fruit and veggies and consume more fluids along with taking any medications to help with your illness.