Do’s and Don’t’s during the flu season

October 12, 2009 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

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Thermometer‘Tis the season to be sniffling…be confused. Health experts can’t agree which one is the more dangerous, the seasonal flu or the H1N1 (aka swine) flu. Doctors can’t agree whether the vaccines will help or not. One thing is for sure: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and the best preventive measure is through good hygiene. Studies have shown that proper hygiene has been very effective in preventing the spreads of pandemics.

Those with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and yes – cancer are especially susceptible to infections.

I’ve been looking for a comprehensive and comprehensible list of preventive measures which we can use against the flu (regardless of which one) and I found this one which I‘d like to share with you.  Rather than reinvent the wheel, I thought it best to give you here a part of the list from Online Nursing Programs.Net, though I have inserted some of my inputs here and there in parenthesis and red itals.


Wash your hands: One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands. (With soap or antiseptic!)

Avoid touching your face: You pick up lots of germs just by being in public or even your own house, so avoid putting your dirty hands and fingers on your face.

Carry antibacterial gel or wipes: Clean your hands before eating out with on-the-go antibacterial gel or hand wipes. (I have a small bottle of gel in my handbag and another one in my car).

Get vaccinated: People with certain health conditions, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone around lots of people (teachers, health care providers, flight attendants) should get vaccinated for the flu. (Make an informed decision about vaccination!)

Avoid crowds: At the peak of cold and flu season, avoid large crowds and packed airplanes and airports. (Rethink your Thanksgiving and Christmas travelling plans.)

Rest when you think you’re getting sick: Give your body a chance to rest by getting enough sleep and eating right. Avoid late nights and partying.

Clean your desk: Clean your office space, including keyboard, mouse and any shared supplies to rid the area of germs. (There are special cleaning liquids for your keyboard, mouse and screen. Check at you PC dealer).

Disinfect your house: Spray doorknobs and other public-use areas if you have roommates or house guests. (And kids who come and go. They’d easily pick up bugs at school).

Stay warm and dry: Your body may be more vulnerable to germs and infections if you’re suddenly soaked in a cold rainstorm and experience a drastic change in temperature.

Evaluate your risk: People with chronic illnesses like AIDS or respiratory problems are more likely to get sick, so they’ll need to be extra prepared. (Children, pregnant women, also those with weakened immune system due to underlying medical conditions are susceptible to severe flu symptoms).

Visit a sauna: One German study found that people who went to saunas twice a week got half as many colds as those who never went to one. (We can’t all have our private saunas so make sure when using a public sauna that it’s well-maintained and hygienic.)

Eat a healthy diet. Healthy foods will help keep your immune system strong while others are coughing and sneezing all around you.

Stay positive: Some researchers believe that the placebo effect may influence a person’s health, so try to convince yourself that you’re perfectly healthy.

Get fresh air: Well-ventilated rooms with open windows clear and purify the air.

Meditate: Your body’s natural cold and flu fighters increase when you relax, so focus on something pleasant and peaceful for 30 minutes per day.

Go about your daily routine: Don’t become a hypochondriac or let the flu hype get out of control. Be sensible about your health.

Be happy: A happy state of mind can lead to a healthier body, too.


Don’t get too stressed out: Stress can weaken your immune system and distract you from staying healthy.

Don’t carry a cloth bag: During cold and flu season, carry a leather or vinyl bag that’s easier to wipe down after trips to the store. (Or you can put the cloth bag in the laundry immediately after use.)

Don’t huddle indoors: Researchers suggest we see more colds in winter simply because we tend to huddle together indoors too much, making it easier to swap germs. Get out for fresh air and alone time.

Don’t share cosmetics: Mascara, eye shadow brushes, lip glosses and other personal items carry lots of germs and should not be shared.

Don’t use a hanky: Prevent the spread of germs by throwing away tissues immediately after you use them. (Dispose used tissues properly!)

Don’t smoke: Smoking weakens the respiratory system, which can leave you vulnerable to colds. (Check out Battling Addiction.)

Don’t drink after someone else: Even if you drink out of a different straw or side of the glass, there could be germs inside the drink due to backwash.

Don’t put your bag down in the bathroom: Hang up your bag on a public restroom hook.

Don’t share food: Dipping your fork or breaking off a piece of someone else’s food plate leaves you vulnerable to their germs.

Don’t keep the temperature too warm: Lower your thermostat just a tiny bit to keep virus germs from spreading.

Don’t double dip: Stay away from open dips at parties and restaurants.

Don’t compromise your sleep schedule: Adults need 7 to 8 hours per night while teens need approximately 9 hours per night. (Good sleep hygiene is important!)

Don’t drink too much: Limit your alcohol intake to give your body a rest and sleep better.

 Photo credit: stock.xchng

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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