Are you and your family ready for the winter season? Research shows that 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch and that hand washing is one of the ways you can stay well this season.
“Studies have found that the cold virus is able to survive for several hours on people’s hands and a study by the Global Hygiene Council has shown that the flu virus can remain infectious on various common household surfaces for up to 48 hours3,” says Dr Kgosi Letlape, member of the Global Hygiene Council and Dettol goodwill ambassador. We can’t avoid winter, but we can prevent the spread of germs which is the root of infections. Here are some tips on how you can minimise your risk of catching colds and flu this winter.
Hygiene-related recommendations to help prevent the spread of colds and flu5,8
-Wash your hands with soap on a regular basis or use a hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to a sink to prevent the spread of infections.
-Regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces at home and work with antigerm products to prevent contamination of your hands.
-Get vaccinated against the flu.
The following steps are recommended to help prevent the spread of cold and flu infections via aerosol transmission (i.e. in droplets of moisture when an infected person coughs or sneezes):
· Cover your mouth or nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
· Immediately dispose of your used tissue in a waste bin.
· If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your elbow or your upper sleeve, not your hands.
“Certain germs can also be transmitted by physical contact so remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing and avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose as this can also result in the spread of infection4,5,” says Dr Letlape.
Other recommendations to help prevent the spread of colds and flu
· Doctors recommend drinking between five to eight glasses of water a day. If you have a cold it is recommended that you drink plenty of water. Failure to do so will result in dehydration, which makes your mucus drier and thicker and less able to cope against invading bacteria and viruses.4
· Maintain your general well-being by eating healthy food such as fruits and vegetables, getting plenty of sleep, exercising and managing your stress levels as these factors can affect your immune system.8
These simple measures can make a big difference and will help protect you, your family and those around you throughout winter.
Images source: WebMD and www.wewomen.com