Shorter days, chilly mornings and unpredictable weather are clear signs that the sneezing and sniffling season is on its way. Pharmaceutical companies are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of peak sales, but is it really necessary to spend a fortune in the drugstore? Medical sources are adamant that there are no cures for the common cold or the flu – medicines merely alleviate symptoms. By far the best thing you to do is avoid catching the viruses that cause it in the first place. There are two lines of defence:
1. Limit your exposure to cold and flu viruses
There are more than 200 viruses known to cause the common cold, and it is impossible to avoid them completely, but there are steps you can take to reduce the chance of and you and your family becoming infected.
Wash your hands frequently
This is definitely rule number one. The CDC (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says the simple act of hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of viral and bacterial infections. It’s well worth getting into the habit, especially after using public toilets, before preparing a meal or grabbing a snack. Remember to use warm water and soap and take your time – proper hand washing means rubbing your hands for at least 15 seconds. If you do not have access to water, a disinfectant hand gel will work as well.
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(Photo: Sebastian Smit/sxc.hu)