One the most dreadful times of the year is almost upon us – cold and flu season - amid a global pandemic. Due to the crazy times, we are in, you may already be actively avoiding people that are sneezing, coughing, or exhibiting any symptoms of a flu-related illness.
It never hurts to be too safe. Even the most uncomplicated measures can help prevent the spread of the flu. During this season, which usually stretches from fall to winter, up to 1 billion people are affected each year, with 3-5 million being severe cases, and up to 500,000 causalities each year. In the US alone, almost 20% of the population is affected, on average, which is about 25-30 million cases.
Respiratory droplets mainly spread flu and cold viruses. When individuals who are infected cough, sneeze or, even talk. Since these droplets contain infectious bacterial cells or virus particles, they are essential factors in spreading and transmitting cold and flu viruses.
The common cold, also known as cold, is a viral infection of your nose and throat. Signs and symptoms may appear in less than two days after being exposed to the virus. The symptoms are generally stuffy or runny nose and sneezing. Other symptoms can include sneezing, coughing, sore throat, headaches, and fever.
Known to most people as “the flu,” it’s an infectious disease caused by the influenza virus. Influenza A and B are responsible for the seasonal flu epidemics each year. Symptoms of the flu can come suddenly and include fever, headache, chills, dry coughing, sore throat, body aches, and exhaustion. Lesser symptoms are also a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes.
You can fight back by adopting healthy habits and routines to combat and help prevent the flu.
Wash your hands as much as you can.
A little soap and water go a long way. To completely rid your hands of any germs, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public space where someone has coughed or sneezed.
Stay home if you're sick.
Limit your exposure to those that are infected. One of the easiest ways to prevent catching a cold or flu is to avoid those you know who have it. If you are experiencing symptoms yourself, do your part and stay away from crowded areas or public gatherings.
Clean your space!
Cold viruses have been shown to survive on hard indoor surfaces for approximately seven days! Flu viruses, on the other hand, are only active for 24 hours. By actively cleaning your living/working space, you can prevent getting infected.
Clean your phone and devices!
Most importantly, clean your phone and electronic devices. Your phone, especially, is an extension of yourself. If you’re like everyone else, you use it everywhere; even on the toilet. The average cellphone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times a day! Clean your phone as much as you wash your hands, and you’ll have peace of mind every day.