The flu is essentially a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. It is quite contagious and is spread by contact with respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets are generated by someone coughing or sneezing. We come into contact with these droplets by:
- Someone sneezing or coughing directly towards your eyes, nose or mouth over short distances.
- By direct bodily contact (Kissing)
- Touching something with virus on it (doorknobs, shopping carts) followed by touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
By understanding this and other features of the flu virus, we can reduce our chances of getting the flu. This article will share some tips to keep the flu away, because after all, prevention is better than cure.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap, each hand for at least 20 seconds. Before eating, after using the toilet, and after outdoor activities such as playing sports. If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, using hand sanitizer will also kill germs if your hands are not visibly dirty. Hand hygiene is the most important step to preventing the spread of the flu and other diseases.
- Use a disinfectant spray on commonly handled things. At home or at work, certain objects like doorknobs or TV-remotes that are touched often and also by a few people can harbour infectious viruses. Disinfectant sprays can be used on these between once a day to once a week, depending on frequency of use.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet. This is the key to keeping our immune system strong, and keeping us healthy. Eating a balanced and healthy diet provides your body with vital nutrients that are needed to maintain your daily body functions including your immune system.
- Multivitamin supplements are helpful in keeping the flu away too, but it is important to note that they are not meant to replace a nutritious diet. They are taken in addition to a healthy diet.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. This goes hand in hand with the healthy diet. Also, the flu virus exists in higher quantities in dry nasal and oral passages. Fresh fruit juices are also good as they provide both hydration and are a great natural source of vitamins.
- Avoid smoking/smokers. Smoking is detrimental to us in so many different ways. Even if you are not an active smoker, being around someone who is, can be just as bad.
- Exercise! Be active. Try to take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. Exercise boosts the immune system.