With winter upon us and the COVID pandemic still very much in the picture, it could be a tough winter. Add to that, the new RSV strain as well as the typical winter flu, there are a trifecta of viruses that are prevalent. That’s why it is even more important to take extra precautions to avoid any of the viruses that might prevail.
To keep yourself healthy, it’s time to be vigilant and take all the necessary measures to help prevent you or your family in getting any of these viruses.
Below are some easy recommendations to help prevent getting a virus this winter:
1. Get vaccinated
One of the best things you can do to prevent getting the flu or Covid is to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine will help your body develop antibodies to fight off the virus if you come in contact with it.
And the updated Covid 19 booster is an even better preventative than the other boosters because it can help protect you from even more strains of Covid.
2. Wash your hands
As we have all learned from the Covid pandemic, it’s important to wash your hands regularly. Viruses can survive for days on an inanimate object, such as a door handle or computer keyboard. By regularly washing your hands, it can help to prevent you from transmitting germs from those objects to your body.
To wash your hands properly, apply soap and water to your hands and rub them vigorously for 20 seconds. Then rinse your hands under running water and dry them with a clean towel. If getting to a sink to wash your hands isn’t possible, use an alcohol-based hand gel sanitizer.
3. Don’t touch your ears, eyes, or mouth
Most of us regularly touch our faces with our hands many times a day, sometimes without realizing it. Most viral infections enter your body through your eyes, nose, or mouth. Therefore, if you can avoid touching your face, you can increase your chances of staying healthy.
4. Keep all surfaces clean and disinfected
It is also very important to clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, even more so when someone at work or at home is sick.
Use a disinfectant wipe or cleaner to wipe down telephones, doorknobs, light switches, desks and any other highly-touched surface several time each day. Use gloves when you clean any surface or countertop for even more protection.
5. Keep your masks handy
Now that most of us have masks from our Covid months, it can be a good practice to wear them again in a public setting. If you don’t feel well, stay at home. However, there are other people that are out in public who might not know they are sick, which is why a mask can really help to prevent you from getting a virus.
6. Maintain a healthy diet
Having a healthy diet and body is one of your best defenses against getting sick. To keep your immune system strong enough to fight off viruses, be sure to eat a balanced and healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy sources of protein.
7. Keep up your exercise routine
Don’t let the holidays and the cold weather interrupt your exercise routine. Exercising regularly can keep your body strong and help it fight off viruses.
If you go to the gym, be sure to wipe off shared equipment with an antibacterial cloth before and after you exercise.
8. Try to make sleep a priority
Not getting adequate rest can make you more vulnerable to catching a cold or flu virus. Your body releases cytokines while you sleep, which are proteins that not only help you sleep deeply, but they also fight infections and inflammation. A lack of sleep can decrease production of these virus-fighting proteins and increase your risk of getting sick.
9. Stay home if you’re sick
One of the best ways to prevent spreading a cold, Covid or any flu virus is to stay home when you’re sick. Viruses are highly contagious, and you can easily make others sick if you go to work, school, or the store while you’re still contagious. With the flu, you can get people sick up to seven days after contracting the virus.
Therefore, stay at home when you’re sick not just for yourself, but for others.
If you follow these guidelines, it might just help you from getting any of these viruses this winter.