Trying to avoid infection during the cold and flu season can be a tricky thing. One of the reasons is because people get to be indoors and closer to one another, thus amplifying the possibility of spreading infections. Here are a few tips to help you stay clear when the chills come calling:
1. Wash your hands
Being one of the oldest rules in the books doesn’t make it untrue. Hand washing is a good way to lower your odds of getting a cold or the flu. Your hands pick up germs more than other parts of the body and since you use them to touch and feel you can pick up germs and get them in your mouth or eyes. That’s how germs spread.
2. Know the symptoms
It’s hard to tell the difference between a cold and flu, especially without testing. Colds are milder and the usual symptoms are a runny or stuffy nose.
The flu is usually more severe and comes on suddenly with a fever, body aches, and fatigue. Unlike cold with which you can still go about your daily activities, the flu will probably knock you off your feet for a few days. Knowing the symptoms also helps with deciding what remedies to go with.
3. Get the Right Medication
Yes, speaking of remedies, there are a lot. Combination medications package several solutions in one pill — like a decongestant, cough suppressant, and a painkiller. This can seem like a simple fix but it might not be the best course of action if you don’t have all of the symptoms the drug treats. Antiviral drugs can also be helpful.
4. No to Antibiotics
We can’t say this enough; colds and flu are caused by viruses. Antibiotics can only deal with bacterial infections, so they won’t help you feel better. Abusing antibiotics will only result in bacteria becoming resistant to the drugs. Don’t misuse them.
5. Stay indoors
Chill. This isn’t just so you wouldn’t infect others but also because you need to rest in order to recover as soon as possible. Go easy on yourself.
6. Use Disposables
If someone in your household is sick, you might need to slow down on the sharing of certain items. Yes, you’re family but using disposable items when someone is infected with a communicable disease is an easy way of reducing the risks of spreading the infection. Replace cloth hand towels with paper ones, and bring in paper or plastic cups.
7. Go Natural
Some home remedies can offer relief against colds and flu. For instance, a spoonful of honey can soothe your cough. As with all cold medications, don’t give honey to kids under age 1 year it’s – not safe for them.