Do not underestimate influenza (flu) disease. The dangerous ones are not only swine flu, we should also beware of flu in general. A lot of things without us knowing could cause us to catch a cold. Here are 10 things you need be more careful in a flu season:
Our fears of diseases would only make us sick. For example, fears of swine flu virus. H1N1 virus has not proved to be more threatening than the usual seasonal flu. Most people who got the flu, if recovered, will recover fully. Research indicates that anxiety may manifest what we worry about itself. So, no need to worry because worrying will only weaken our immune system.
2. Hugging, kissing, and shaking hands
What is so dangerous about a simple handshake? Close contact with infected individuals is one of the easiest ways for virus transfer. It does not mean you have to be antisocial during the flu season, but you should be aware of opportunities for the transfer of the virus. If you shake hands with others, try not to touch your mouth or eyes before washing hands.
Smoking can weaken the function of fine hairs in the nose as air filter into the lungs, so bacteria will be trapped and enters the lungs. This causes your body to be more susceptible to disease attack. Pascal James Imperato, MD, dean of the Faculty of Public Health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, in Brooklyn, warned that previous lung damage, such as those caused by smoking, could leave a greater risk of serious complications. “Chronic Smokers are always much more susceptible to respiratory infections. They have damaged lungs, making them more susceptible to diseases,” said James.
4. Exercise too often
Exercise habits in excessive amounts will weaken the immune system of our bodies. Did you know that a fitness training center is a place that contains a lot of germs? Starting from treadmills and fitness equipment full of sweat, benches, locker room, and in the bag that you bring home could already be attached with germs. But this does not mean you should stop exercising. To protect yourself from virus attacks, first, clean machines and fitness equipment you want to use. After exercise, do not forget to wash your hands.
5. Drinking alcoholic beverages
A recent study in BMC Immunology found that rats who ate large amounts of alcohol in a short time have weakened immune systems and may have a more difficult time against infection for at least 24 hours. Other side effects of drinking too much alcohol is quickly and easily lead to dehydration which impairs the ability of the nose and throat to filter out germs and drive them in the form of mucus.
6. Over-reliance on antibacterial hand sensitizers
You are accustomed to use gel hand sensitizers, first check the material contained in it. A good antibacterial gel contains 60 to 95 percent alcohol, ethanol, or isopropanol. Hand sensitizers are effective to kill germs but do not forget to wash hands, as usual, using clean water. Until now there has been no research that proves that the hand sanitizers are capable of killing the virus. Washing hands with soap and water remain the best way to wash hands.
7. Not washing your hands properly
Many people do not wash their hands properly. Wash hands as much as ten times a day is one of the recommended ways to prevent the arrival of the virus that causes flu. However, there are still many people who do not immediately wash their hands after coughing and sneezing. Many also found people wash their hands less than 15 seconds, even though experts recommend washing hands for at least 20 seconds or more. Wash entire surface of the hand between the finger and make sure hands are completely dry afterward. Turn off the faucet and bathroom lights and opening doors with a tissue to keep hands clean.
8. Using of the wrong facial mask
Since last September, a face mask is no longer recommended for use in home and work environments. But there are still many who use it especially if they are in severe cold conditions or because of day-to-day dealing with sick people. Masker is a virus nest. Make sure you use and dispose of them properly. Do not touch the front which is the most likely contaminated with the virus. After that, make sure you always wash hands thoroughly until clean.
9. Drinking flu medicine before time
In the midst of the panic of swine flu virus, many people then seek and buy supplies of antiviral drugs in anticipation. However, most of them will not even need it. Antiviral drugs like Tamiflu should be given with appropriate advice and prescription. This is because a dose that is not right could make the virus become resistant to these drugs.
10. Underestimating everything
This may seem contradictory, but in fact the healthiest approach for the flu season is to take a position between panic and ignorance. You might assume that you are too young or too healthy to be attacked by influenza. Typically, high-risk flu patients are aged at least 65 years, under two years old, pregnant women, or has existed previous medical condition. But we all must take flu precautions seriously