5 basic tips to avoid catching the flu at home or at work
Germs are everywhere. They thrive in various environments from the ventilation system to plants, but thankfully many of these microbes pose no threat to our health. However, this is no longer the case if someone living under the same roof or working in the same office as you has the flu where precautions need to be taken to decrease your risk of contracting the virus.
How to keep flu at bay
Avoid touching your face
The influenza virus spreads through either direct or indirect transmission. Direct transmission is when the virus spreads through droplets or through the air while indirect transmission means that a person indirectly contaminates himself by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching their mouth or nose. Research has revealed that indirect transmission accounts for a considerable level of transmission.1 This is why you should avoid touching your face. At the same time, you should take care to regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizers containing a minimum of 62 percent ethanol can also be used. Remember that they should keep your hands wet for at least 15 seconds to be efficient though.
Controlling the flu virus with steam
Isolating relatives or colleagues suffering from the flu is not always possible. An efficient method to control the spreading of the virus is to have access to proper disinfection. In healthcare facilities, disinfectants are generally regulated and approved by concerned authorities, but this is not necessarily the case for consumer products. One sure fire way is to use steam if you do not wish to use chemicals such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide.2
Sanitizing high-touch surfaces
At home, the high-touch surfaces that need thorough cleaning are the refrigerator and microwave handles, faucets, light switches, door knobs, the toilet, and the remote control, as well as other electronic devices such as laptops or mobile devices. Kitchen sponges are also highly fertile areas for virus contamination. Being prime sources of contamination, they need to be cleaned thoroughly and regularly.
Avoid sharing with those who are ill
You should not share cups, bowls or other utensils and towels with people who are contaminated. The same rule applies for pillows, blankets, and toys for children. Take care to disinfect toys between playtimes and throw away toothbrushes once everyone gets well. Toothbrushes are favorable breeding grounds for germs.
Boosting your immune system
One way to avoid being contaminated with viruses is, of course, to boost your immune system. You can adopt a healthy lifestyle to allow your own body to protect you from illnesses. Eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, limiting stress and alcohol intake can all positively contribute to strengthening your immune system.
What to do if you feel flu-like symptoms anyway?
If you’re feeling symptoms, listen to your body and rest. There’s no need to spend excessive energy that will only weaken your immune system. If you believe you’re coming down with the flu, the best thing to do is to not unnecessarily expose your friends, family and colleagues to the virus.
Seek help if you get worse and talk to your health practitioner. Get professional advice if you are at risk for complications from the flu. If your symptoms become significantly worse after the first three days of illness, especially if your fever subsides and then returns, be sure to seek medical attention right away.
1. 2. Webmd.com