It may seem an overwhelming assignment to keep yourself and your loved ones away from the glare of infections. All of us are always trying to find practical ways of staying infection-free. While our skin provides us a natural protection against destructive infections, causing microbes, that but clever “germs” have found alternative methods to get into the body and cause infection.
Let us give you some simple everyday tips that will help prevent the spread of many infectious diseases just by making a few simple behavioral changes
Frequent hand wash: Did you know that microorganisms can survive on static surfaces anywhere from a few minutes to several months? It depends on the microbe and the surroundings. Some can live for a little time only; others can live longer. Imagine these disease-causing microbes alive on your computer keyboard, your pens and pads, or even on the ATM buttons at your bank!
Astonishingly, most of us are not aware of the best way to effectively wash our hands. It is recommended to wash meticulously and forcefully with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, followed by the drying of hands with a paper towel or a clean towel. However if due to some reason soap is not available, an alcohol-based hand gel or wipe will also be of help. However it is recommended that soap and water be used. You can sing “Happy Birthday”, while doing so and end your hand washing activity as the song ends. Most hospitals recommend washing your hands for the length of this simple tune!
Don’t share personal items: Some very easy source of infectious agents are toothbrushes, towels, razors, handkerchiefs, and nail cutters. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi love these items and cling on to them whenever opportunity strikes. Sharing your stuff with others is a great trait that has been taught to us since childhood, however ensure that you are selfish with your personal items! Later your friends will curse you for lending them your things along with diseases!
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze: When we talk about good personal hygiene it includes not only individual sanitation, but also the longstanding practice of covering your mouth whenever you cough or sneeze. You can always ask – “Why to follow this when I am not sick? The answer is that for most infections the disease-causing germ has already started budding and dividing much prior to when the symptoms begin to show. Coughing or sneezing as you are aware, can spread these microbes through miniscule droplets in the air. Therefore it is recommended that one must cover their mouth either with their arms, sleeves, or crook of the elbow, rather than using one’s hands.
Get vaccinated. Our immune system strangely has a “memory” of all previous bug attacks! When the body encounters a microorganism that has in the past caused an infection, it boosts its production of white blood cells and antibodies to prevent a second time infection. Vaccination “tricks” your body into thinking that a particular microbe has infected the body and so it enhances its own defenses against subsequent infection.
Cook Safe: Most of the food-borne illnesses commonly crop up due to poor food preparation and eating habits. Microbes thrive on practically all edible items especially food articles left at room temperature. What refrigeration does is to slow or stop the increase of most microbes. It is important to refrigerate foods within 2 hours of making it. Use clean and washed cutting boards for chopping and wash all fruits and vegetables well prior to consumption.
Travel Smart: Traveling to certain places and countries can cause infectious diseases. If your travel location is one where water is dubious, make sure to use a safe water source such as bottled water for drinking and even for brushing your teeth. Eat cooked foods only, and try to avoid raw vegetables and fruits. Finally, in case it is a foreign location, make sure to update all immunizations that are advised or required.
These simple tips would definitely go a long way in preventing you from not only a lot of physical and mental stress but also in preventing a big hole in your pocket since hospitalization expenses are not something that an ordinary man would like to bear.