Author: Christin Sander, Health Writer
The viruses that cause colds and flu are highly contagious. They spread through the air and can live on hard surfaces for up to eight hours, making epidemics very common. The viruses are spread via contact with the mucous membranes. There are several things everyone can do to reduce exposure to these illnesses.
Wash Hands Often
Hand washing is the single most important factor for preventing the spread of cold and flu viruses. It can be difficult not to come in contact with contaminated items, so keeping hands clean is vital not only for preventing infection, but to avoid spreading it. The flu is contagious up to 48 hours before symptoms appear. Those who are infected often unknowingly spread the virus before becoming ill.
Hands should be washed every time you blow your nose. Tissues and handkerchiefs are not thick enough to prevent the spread of germs to the hands. These germs are then transferred to anything touched.
Avoid Touching the Face and Mouth
Cold and flu viruses take root in the respiratory system. Avoid potential infection by not touching the face. It is very easy to transfer germs from surfaces directly into the body by touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Cover Coughs and Sneezes
If you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, raise your arm and sneeze or cough into your elbow to prevent spreading contagion. Tissues and handkerchiefs are rarely thick enough to prevent hand contamination, so tissues should be discarded immediately and hands washed after each use.
Store Toothbrushes Properly
Toothbrushes left out in the open are magnets for germs in the air or on other brushes they come in contact with. They should be kept in their own separate containers, washed and sterilized often. Those infected with the flu should replace their toothbrush. Toothbrushes can harbor viruses and extend illness.
Boost Your Immunity
There are natural ways to give your immune system a boost. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables provides nutrients the body needs to function effectively and fight infections. Prior to the start of flu season, consider taking a homeopathic immune system booster. These remedies are safe and have no side effects. BaniFlu, for example, is an FDA registered,100% homeopathic formulation of the current year's flu vaccine, combined with 100% homeopathic ingredients known to support immune functioning.
Clean Frequently Touched Surfaces
Remote controls, door knobs, computer keyboards, phones, counter tops and light switches are all examples of items that have a high risk of contamination. These items are touched frequently by multiple hands every day and should be wiped down regularly to prevent the spread of germs. Carry wet wipes when visiting public places to wipe down surfaces and keep your hands clean.
Avoid Sharing Items
There are times when it's best not to share. Cell phones, pens, and other items people don't normally think about can easily transfer germs. Don't use other people's cell phones and don't allow them to use yours. Carry a pen and any other commonly shared small items and keep them private.
Developing healthy habits like these will help insure you remain cold and flu free this season.