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Health

Protect your family against colds and flu

With cold and flu season upon us, it's a good time to take precautions to try and prevent infection from these pesky bugs.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether you have a common cold or flu as many symptoms are the same, and both are spread by viruses and not bacteria. The best way to tell if it is more than a cold is if you have:

  • A temperature over 38°C
  • You ache all over 
  • A pounding headache
  • A dry (not chesty) cough
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea (more common in children)

If a member of your family should come down with flu, adults will be infectious for around five days and children for around ten days.
There are a number of ways you can protect your family however, from giving your immune systems a boost to adopting good hygiene practices to prevent viruses spreading.

 

Get vaccinated

While the flu may just feel like a really bad cold, it can be very serious and lead to more serious medical conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis and in rare cases meningitis. The Stay Well This Winter campaign has launched its biggest ever flu vaccination programme for children, with over 4 million children between 2 and 7 years old being offered the vaccine. Speak to your GP to arrange your vaccination.

 

Boost Your Immune System

Providing we give them the right fuel, our bodies are great at defending themselves against colds and flu. Your body makes proteins called ‘antibodies’ that destroy abnormal or foreign cells, and help fend off common ailments like the flu or a cold.
There are some ways you can boost your family’s immune system to help them fight viruses, including:

  • Lowering stress levels
  • Getting daily exercise
  • Make sure you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Eating a balanced diet of foods rich in vitamins and minerals
  • Drink plenty of water

 

Keep Clean & Virus Free

Research shows that people who use public transport are more likely to catch flu than those who travel by car, this is due to the number of people you are coming into contact with and the surfaces you are touching on trains and buses. While we know that traveling to work on the train or bus might not be avoidable, there are things you can do to minimise your risk of picking up a virus. Firstly, be mindful of the surfaces you come into contact with and make sure you wash your hands thoroughly when you can.

Speaking of handwashing, it is good practice to make frequent hand washing a part of your routine, particularly after you have coughed, sneezed or come into contact with someone with cold or the flu. Also think about your home surroundings, and keep your kitchen and bathroom hygienically clean with Zoflora. Also, regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, light switches, telephones, hand rails and taps with your favourite Zoflora fragrance.

If you are looking after a child who has flu, try to stay out of the firing line when they cough by placing their chin on your shoulder, and encourage older children to cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue which is then placed directly in the bin. Frequent hand washing will help to prevent the virus spreading.

 

Posted by Zoflora (17/10/2016)