Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? “I never got a cold until I came to college, now I feel like I’m sick a lot.” “I can’t be sick next week because I have three tests.” “My friends are all sick with colds and I don’t want to get sick.”
Winter is cold and flu season, and viruses cause both illnesses. The average adult gets 3-5 colds a year because there are over 100 varieties of these viruses.
Typically the viruses enter our bodies through the mouth, nose and eyes. Once inside, they multiply and make us sick. These tiny germs can be suspended in the air after a sick person talks, sneezes or coughs.
Or they can be left behind by an ill person on many surfaces such as door knobs, desks, key boards, pencils, papers, counters, and soda cans to name a few.
Here are some simple steps you can take that have been scientifically shown to decrease the chance that you will catch a cold or flu or spread an infection you have to others.
1. Wash hands frequently, but most importantly right before meals and snacks. This is the most effective way to prevent infection.
2. Clean eating and food preparation surfaces with detergent before each use.
3. Wipe shared surfaces such as key boards, video game controllers and remote controls with a disinfectant before use.
4. Don’t share food, drinks, bedding or clothing.
5. Avoid touching your own eyes, mouth or nose during the day. It’s surprising how many times a day we rub our eyes, lick or bite a finger, or scratch our noses without thinking.
6. Don’t handle the tissues, personal items, pencils, pens, dishes, or glasses of a sick person. If you do touch them, wash your hands well.
7. Wash dishes and silverware in a dishwasher and use the heat dry cycle. Consider disposable plates and cups.
To limit spreading infection when you are ill:
1. Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away immediately. Don’t put dirty tissues on tables or desks.
2. If you have no tissues, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hand.
3. Wash hands frequently with a detergent soap or alcohol-based skin cleanser.
4. Don’t prepare food for others.
5. Use only your own bedding, pillows, blankets, towels, pens, and pencils.
By taking these precautions, the risk of getting sick can be greatly reduced.
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