- by Manipal Hospitals
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- Mar 06 2017
9 Essential Tips To Prevent Cold & Flu
The common cold, including chest cold and head cold, and seasonal flu are caused by viruses. The symptoms of cold & flu include sore throat, runny nose, congestion, cough, fever, headache, and muscle soreness. Though these symptoms are not very serious in nature, they have the uncanny ability to irritate people and disrupt their normal day-to-day works. You can’t afford to let a cold or the flu slow you down.
Here are some practical ways to lower your risk of contracting a cold or flu.
The primary channel of contracting cold or flu is through inhalation of the virus-containing droplets released by the infected persons. You can reduce your risk by avoiding close proximity with the infected persons. You may also suggest them to cover their nose with a tissue while sneezing or coughing, which can be discarded after the use. It is better if the infected person uses disposable glasses and plates, etc.
Avoid going to crowded places especially during the seasons of outbreaks of cold and flu (typically through December and March).
Don’t share items
Do not use the glasses, utensils, or towels used by the infected person. The viruses get deposited on these items, and when you use them back, they enter your body.
Wash your hands
You can pick several kinds of germs by touching the contaminated surfaces. So wash your hands regularly with disinfectants or with hand sanitizers and dry them fully to reduce entry of germs into your system. Avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth through which the viruses can enter your body.
Keep the surrounding air humid and clean
Viruses can survive better in dry air, and that’s one of the reasons why you may get cold or flu during winters. Humidify the air to render the viruses powerless. Make the environment appealing to you and not to the viruses.
It is important for you to keep your surroundings clean and free of germs. So use disinfectant solutions to clean the flooring, desks, etc.
Eat nutritious food
High dosages of vitamin C may prevent cold and flu. Make it a habit to include citrus fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamin C, in your daily diet. Overall, a diet which is rich in nutrients makes your immune system strong. Therefore, eat dark green, red or yellow colored fruits and vegetables. Drink adequate juices to flush out the toxins.
Neither smoke nor drink excess alcohol
Heavy alcohol consumption can damage your immune system increasing your susceptibility to infections. Smoke irritates the lining of your nasal mucus, sinuses, and lungs. It dries your nasal passage, affects your cilia in the nose which makes you more susceptible to catching a cold or getting a flu.
There is no vaccine available so far for cold. However, vaccines are available for flu. Taking a flu shot is the best measure to prevent getting flu. You can take flu shots during early autumn to strengthen your immune system before the flu season arrives. The vaccine should be taken every year to have a continued protection as the flu strains keep changing their structure. It is available for everyone who is above 6 months of age. Immediately after getting the vaccine, you will have mild symptoms which is normal.
Wear adequate clothing during winters
Don’t’ leave your home without complete clothing which includes scarves, gloves, socks, etc. during winters. This is especially true for children. The low body temperatures during winters can increase the growth rate of the viruses. So, maintain a warm body temperature.
Here’s another reason why you should exercise regularly. If you are physically fit, you will have fewer cold or flu attacks, also which do not last longer. Better your immune system, lower are your chances of getting a cold or flu. Perform aerobic exercises to enhance your immune system. You may also adopt relaxation techniques to de-stress your body which your defense system appreciates.
It is more important for a breastfeeding mother to protect your baby from contracting cold or flu. Cleaning hands thoroughly and wearing a surgical mask is vital for a mother before feeding the baby.
Do not let the cold or flu attacks slow you down. Kick the sickness! Keep your family healthy during the coming winters by preventing attacks of a cold or flu.
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