prevent coronavirus flu SARS h1n1 infectious disease halza digital healthcare

Contagious illnesses, from SARS and H1N1 to common influenza, are growing increasingly common in our globalized world. As the new coronavirus continues to make headlines, there is no time like the present to remind ourselves of all the ways we can protect ourselves and those around us from getting infected.

Here’s how to keep respiratory illnesses at bay.

1. Minimize contact with the sick and avoid sharing food and drink

It’s best to avoid close contact with those who are sick to prevent yourself from catching their germs. Infectious diseases can be easily spread when those infected cough, sneeze, or even talk and droplets from their nose and mouth land on you.

Sharing food and drinks is a great bonding activity, but it’s also a fast way for viruses to spread through saliva. If you are having the same dishes, use a serving spoon.

Similarly, avoid kissing or hugging your loved ones who are sick as well.

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2. Wash your hands with soap often and avoid touching your face

Sometimes, it’s impossible to avoid people who have the flu – especially when the ill person is your family member or a colleague who sits next to you at work.

In any case, it’s important to remember to wash your hands often, preferably with antibacterial soap, using the 8-step handwashing routine. You should also have antiseptic wipes or hand sanitizer readily available in your bag – just in case you can’t find a sink anywhere.

It also helps to avoid touching your face to prevent viruses from entering your body through facial orifices.

As an added precaution, wash your hands with soap after coming home as well, because there are germs everywhere – be it at the coffee shop or on the bus.

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3. Get vaccinated

Vaccinations prevent life-threatening illnesses from developing and help to create herd immunity for immunocompromised members of society. Reduce your risk of getting infected and keep your immune system strong by getting vaccinated against the flu.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor to get vaccinated today and remember to keep track of the shots you need on the Halza app.

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4. Boost your immunity with vitamin-rich food

When your immunity is high, you are less susceptible to infections. You can easily boost your health with the food you eat. A balanced diet with sufficient vitamins from fruit and leafy vegetables is key to staying healthy. On that note, avoid consuming too much deep-fried food.

To further strengthen your body’s defense, you can also get vitamins from pharmacies and wellness stores. Vitamin C and zinc are some supplements that can help.

 

5. Keep up a healthy lifestyle

Having healthy habits, including getting enough rest, avoiding smoking and eating junk food, but also taking care of your allergies, is crucial in avoiding viruses.

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6. Wear a mask when in crowded areas during the flu season

To keep harmful bacteria from entering your systems, wear a mask if you have to go to or be in crowded places, like a tightly packed train during peak hours. Of course, it’s best to avoid crowded places entirely, if possible.

Take note that one mask should be worn for a maximum of eight hours and that you have to replace your mask if it gets moist.

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While there are ways to prevent respiratory illnesses from developing, harmful bacteria can sometimes sneak past the most watchful of eyes. If you’ve been hit by the flu bug or something similar, here are some ways you can speed up your recovery.

1. Visit the doctor to get antiviral medication

Antiviral drugs can help to offset flu symptoms, quicken the recovery, and prevent complications. These usually have to be prescribed by a doctor, so do not hesitate to visit your GP if you’re experiencing flu symptoms.

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2. Stay hydrated with the right liquids

Being sick tends to result in a loss of fluids, which can lead to dehydration, so remember to drink lots of water to aid your recovery. If you’re not a fan of plain water, hot honey lemon water also helps – lemon is rich in Vitamin C, and honey can soothe coughs.

Hot caffeine-free teas are also good, especially if they are infused with herbs such as ginger, chamomile, and peppermint. Stay away from caffeine as it is a diuretic and can dehydrate you.

If you’re lacking appetite, go for soups as meals. They’re comforting, help you get your nutrition in, and provide water content. Just make sure it’s not too high in sodium.

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3. Stay home and rest

You might still want to soldier on at work even when sick, but as your body is fighting off the virus, it needs plenty of rest. Do get sufficient sleep as well, because that’s when the body repairs itself.

Call in sick if you really need to, and take time off to sleep – it’s more beneficial than showing up and having your work hampered because you’re unable to put in your 100%. And you don’t want to be that person infecting your colleagues!

 

 

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Sources: CDC CNN WebMD