With the wintry weather still raging outside our windows, avoiding the flu is obviously one of our top priorities. While getting a flu shot before winter’s onset remains the wisest thing to do, there are still some practical tips that can increase your chance of achieving a flu-free season.
The flu virus is known to travel inside respiratory secretions in the air up to nearly 2 metres after being expelled from an infected person. These droplets are then either inhaled or will land on a surface. Therefore, the primary ways to keep clear of the virus are:
Stay away from the people with suspicious symptoms. You may need to wear a mask if you have to look after them.
Wash your hands after you touch doubtful surfaces. Just use the regular soap and water. It is hard to know which surfaces are infected, so in winter, communal things such as light switches, keyboards, doorknobs should be considered. A hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol is a good alternative.
If someone at your home or work has the flu, cleaning communal surfaces everyday may be a good idea. You can also try not to share things like toothbrush holders and eating utensils.
The flu virus can’t get through the skin but will have an easy voyage through mucous membranes. So take your hands off your face, mouth and nose when you are not sure if those hands are germ – free!
Quit smoking! Yes, tobacco smokers respond unfavourably to viruses, including the flu. So it is the best thing you can do for your health, not only in winter. Please remember that smoking cessation support is always available, all you need to do is ring Quitline or get in touch with us.
Last but not least, if you happen to be sick and do not want to give the bug to those around you then cover your sneezes, throw away your tissues neatly in a covered rubbish bin, wash your hands, use your own linen, and take sick leave!