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Winter offers a wonderful chance to play in the snow, cherish moments with family during holiday getaways, and, unfortunately, fall ill. The combination of frigid temperatures that challenge your immune system and the lack of moisture in the air, which hinders the production of protective nasal mucus, creates an environment conducive for infectious diseases to infiltrate your body.
While the prevalence of flu viruses typically diminishes during the summer, contracting the flu during this season remains possible. Additionally, several other viruses, such as RSV and COVID-19, can induce symptoms similar to the flu. Fortunately, effective supportive care is enough for most individuals to alleviate these symptoms and facilitate a swift recovery from these summer flu-like ailments.
Prevent These Diseases by Being Proactive
1. Get Vaccinated
While you might be familiar with the necessity of vaccines for journeys to exotic destinations, don’t overlook the significance of flu vaccination in your preventive regimen, even when your travels are local. Check with an infectious disease specialist to be sure. Viruses can quickly spread through coughs or sneezes, particularly in confined spaces like airplanes or buses.
Even if your ventures are confined to your home, the risk of contracting a severe flu virus from routine interactions with others remains. Vulnerable groups like children, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions are particularly susceptible to flu-related complications.
Both you and your family can obtain flu shots and other necessary vaccinations at the Disease Physician and Travel Clinic. Also, be mindful of your personal hygiene.
Your immune system operates with a built-in “memory” of past infections, facilitating a swift reaction (characterized by specific antibodies, B cells, or T cells) if the same pathogen reemerges.
Vaccination accomplishes a similar feat by introducing the body to a weakened or inactivated version of the pathogen, prompting the production of the same defensive cells. This process safeguards you and those nearby from infections and illnesses.
A suggested timetable for children’s immunizations and a roster of recommended vaccines and booster doses for adults, including the annual flu shot, contribute to maintaining infection prevention.
2. Wash Your Hands Frequently
Are you familiar with proper handwashing techniques? There’s more to it than just a quick application of soap and a brief rinse.
Here’s a breakdown of the steps recommended by the CDC:
- Wet your hands, turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds (you can hum the entire “Happy Birthday” song twice at a normal pace to help gauge the time).
- Thoroughly rinse your hands.
- Dry them using a clean towel or a hot-air dryer.
Washing your hands should be on your personal hygiene checklist. Here is a simple guide as to when you should clean your hands.
- Before and after eating
- Before and after food preparation
- After tending to a wound or taking care of an ill person
- After using the restroom, changing a baby’s diaper, or handling pet waste
- Following contact with animals (including pets) or their food or treats
- Post-handling of trash or any unsanitary items
- After sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.
When soap and water aren’t available, opt for hand sanitizers.
3. Engage in Responsible Sex
You can also contract infectious diseases through unprotected sex. Condoms play a vital role in safeguarding against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as HIV/AIDS. Nevertheless, numerous STDs are spread through skin-to-skin contact, including Herpes I and II and the human papillomavirus (HPV).
It’s advisable to shower before and after sexual intercourse and post-sex. Urinating can aid in eliminating bacteria from the urethra.
Initiate a conversation with your healthcare provider about receiving vaccinations for Hepatitis B and HPV. You must undergo regular testing if you’re at risk of contracting STDs.
4. Practice Clean and Effective Cooking
Another way of preventing infection is by ensuring your food is clean. Ensure that meats are cooked thoroughly to eliminate bacteria. After handling raw meat, poultry, or fish, diligently sanitize kitchen countertops and other surfaces used for food preparation. Maintain cleanliness in your kitchen by routinely cleaning the counters, the stove, the table, and the floors.
Foodborne illnesses can stem from various factors. It included gastroenteritis, occasionally known as the stomach flu, a viral ailment mainly spread through tainted food or water. Furthermore, food poisoning is induced by over 250 potential culprits, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, and chemicals.
According to an infectious disease specialist, microorganisms flourish on almost all types of food, especially when left at room temperature. Rapid refrigeration within two hours of food preparation can impede or halt most microorganisms’ proliferation.
Furthermore, employing distinct cutting boards—one dedicated to raw meats and another for produce—can effectively avert cross-contamination. It’s essential to uphold impeccable cleanliness on your countertops, practice regular handwashing, and thoroughly wash all raw fruits and vegetables before consumption.
5. Avoid Sharing
Another simple way of preventing infection is to discourage the sharing of things. Despite the commendable act of sharing crayons in kindergarten, sharing personal items can facilitate the transmission of viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms.
Educate your children to maintain their personal belongings separately, which includes things like pencil cases, combs, and makeup.
Ensure that each member of your household possesses a towel and toothbrush. When visiting the beach, gym, or pool, safeguard yourself by wearing flip-flops or shower shoes to prevent inadvertently contracting someone else’s athlete’s foot or another infection.
Stay Protected and Avoid Emerging Infectious Diseases
It’s hard and costly to get sick. Even a simple flu can bring you down and leave you indisposed for days. Don’t let these diseases make your family suffer. First, you should use home restoration services to bacteria and disease-proof your home.
United Restoration can do this for you. We have the tools, people, and experience to free every home from disease-causing viruses and bacteria. Fight infectious diseases with United Restoration. Call us today for a free consultation!