Maybe you’ve got a big deadline at work. Or perhaps your long-planned dream vacation is just around the corner. No matter what’s ahead on your calendar, one thing is clear: but a cold or the flu virus can attack anytime. Both the flu, or influenza, and common cold are very contagious viruses that exhibit similar symptoms and infect many people. The common cold infects your nose and throat, while influenza attacks a person’s respiratory system. Neither the illnesses has any cure, but both can relieve on their own, though in some cases they can get quite serious. But by following good hygiene practices and nipping early symptoms in the bud, you can prevent a bad case of the cold or flu or avoid it altogether. Both, cold and flu, are caused by viruses. So, it’s quite obvious that there is no medication against both. Thus, taking preventive measures against cold and flu becomes more than essential. Following measures can help preventing the two:
- Wash Your Hands. There’s no mystery about how cold and flu viruses spread. Someone who’s sick sneezes in his hand and then touches the telephone, the keyboard, or a kitchen glass. You can pick up the germ when you touch that object, even hours later. So wash your hands often. If you can’t get to a sink, rub them with a hand sanitizer that’s got alcohol in it.
- Keep your hands off. Touching your nose and your eyes may hurt you. Those are the most common places for germs to get in.
- Steer clear of crowds. The cold and flu are very contagious and generally spread where crowds of people congregate. Steering clear of crowds or packed spaces may minimize your risk of contracting either virus.
- Wash your hands after touching surfaces in crowded places. Door handles (especially restroom door handles), for example, are surfaces on which cold and flu viruses can linger.
- If you feel ill, stay home for at least a day to reduce your risk of spreading your cold or flu to others, or making your case worse by catching something else.
- Don’t Touch Your Face. Cold and flu viruses enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly. Aerobic exercise or any other cardio exercise gets your heart pumping. It helps increase your body’s natural virus-killing cells.
- Clean the places you use the most often. These include your bedroom, kitchen, dining room, sitting room and bathrooms.
- Don’t Smoke. Heavy smokers get more severe and frequent colds. Even being around smoke hurts the immune system, your body’s defence against germs. Smoke dries out the passages in your nose. It affects your cilia — the delicate hairs that line your nose and lungs and help sweep away cold and flu viruses. Experts say just one cigarette can stop them from working for as long as 30 to 40 minutes.
Unlike influenza, there is no vaccine for the common cold. The best way to prevent it is by adopting good hygiene habits and taking care of your overall health. Maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and wash your hands and so on.