WHENEVER patients get inflicted with a cold or flu, they tend to ask why they got it and which places to avoid.
The essence of staying fit is to ensure that your immune system is secure and not compromised by faulty diet, emotional stress, lack of exercise or sleep.
When the cold or flu season comes, it means viruses abound. Some places we frequent on a daily basis may be more virus prone than others.
Afflicted people who sneeze or cough openly infect others.
There are some places that have an awful lot of germs that you should avoid if you can.
Places that are damp and moist are a haven for germs. They tend to flourish and multiply under such conditions.
Large crowds jostling in cramped spaces like cinemas, shopping malls, food courts, concerts, stage shows, zoos and museums are the harbingers of bacteria and viruses.
Furthermore, door knobs, sinks, soap dispensers and toilet seats particularly in public rest rooms can harbour huge colonies of germs.
The crux of the spread of germs revolves around how close you are clustered with others.
For instance, if you are caught in a jam-packed subway, bus, train or plane, you are doomed to transmit germs to one another.
The same principle applies to schools, kindergartens or daycare centres where children and students engage in fun and frolic at close quarters.
It is a common feature in the waiting halls of hospitals and clinics to see patients waiting patiently to see the doctor with their complaints of cold and flu.
In the interim, they are seen to be coughing and blowing their noses, releasing a myriad of germs into the surrounding environment.
Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to such an onslaught. We don’t see segregation of patients in the waiting rooms of doctors for the “not so bad” and “badly’ ill.
We cannot avoid the above mentioned places in our everyday lives.
However, we can protect ourselves from such dangers of infection in a variety of ways.
For all their status as developed countries, it is rather ironic to notice that the citizens of these countries do not remove their footwear when they enter their homes.
The shoes having trodden on loads of rubbish outside become conveyors of heaps of germs into the household to infect the unsuspecting hosts. Therefore, shoes are best left outside the premises.
We should wash our hands
with soap and warm water as often as possible. We must avoid unnecessarily touching our face, eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, so that germs don’t access our body.
Sometimes it is not convenient to do so especially after touching surfaces that others had previously touched such as ATM keyboards, doorknobs and lift buttons. In such situations, a hand sanitizer would come in handy.
Of all the rooms in your house, the kitchen is likely to be the place with the most germs, more than even the washroom.
If in a “germy” place, it is advisable to press lift buttons with a pen tip or with your elbow, and
to use a paper towel to open
public bathroom doors and to flush toilets.
It is a sad fact of life that food court tables are often wiped down with rags that had been used over and over again.
This practice is a surefire way of spreading germs and should be overcome by using your hand sanitizer to wipe down the tables.
Sanitizers should also be used for desks or telephones in shared office premises.
DR A. SOORIAN
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