Protecting yourself and your loved ones from infectious […]
Protecting yourself and your loved ones from infectious diseases can seem like a daunting task. In addition to the obvious symptoms of a runny nose and cough, you may want to know more practical precautions. The skin is a natural barrier against infection by harmful microorganisms, but clever "germs" will find other alternative ways to enter the body and cause infection. Making some simple changes in your life can effectively prevent infectious diseases.
1. Wash your hands often. Did you know that microorganisms can live on inert surfaces from minutes to months? Imagine these disease-causing microbes living on computer keyboards, on electrical switches, and even on the handrails of the sidewalk! Surprisingly, most people don't know that effective hand washing is the best preventive measure. The CDC recommends washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, then drying your hands with a paper towel. Where running water is not available, an alcohol-based gel can meet the requirements of handwashing, although it is not as good as soap and water.
2. Do not share personal items. Toothbrushes, towels, razors, handkerchiefs, and nail clippers can all be sources of infectious agents (bacteria, viruses, and fungi). In kindergarten, children are usually taught to share toys but learn to control their hands. Try to remember not to share your personal belongings with others.
3. Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing. In the same spirit, good personal hygiene includes not only personal hygiene, but also the traditional practice of covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing. Why is this important when not sick? Because with most infections, the disease-causing microbes begin to grow and divide long before symptoms appear. Coughing or sneezing can spread these germs through the air. It is recommended to cover your mouth with your arms, sleeves, not your hands.
4. Get the flu shot. The human immune system is designed to "remember" previous infections. When the body encounters microbes that caused previous infections, it boosts the production of white blood cells and antibodies to prevent a second infection. Therefore, by being vaccinated, the body can be tricked into thinking that it has been infected with certain microorganisms, thereby improving its defense against infectious diseases.
5. Use safe cooking methods. Poor food preparation and eating habits are often the cause of food-borne illnesses. In fact, microbes love all foods, especially when left at room temperature. Refrigeration slows or stops most microbial growth. Have separate cutting boards for cooked and raw foods, and be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables before eating.
6. Be a smart traveler. It is very easy to catch infectious diseases while traveling, especially when traveling in less developed areas. If the water in your tourist destination is questionable, be sure to have a safe water source, such as bottled water, for drinking and for brushing your teeth. Eat cooked foods and avoid raw fruits and vegetables. It is recommended that all immunizations be updated according to the travel destination.
7. Safe sex. STDs are probably the easiest infectious diseases to prevent. Smart practice about safe sex (using condoms) can prevent the transmission of infectious bacteria or viruses from one person to another.
8. Don't pick your nose (or mouth and eyes). It is not only a social taboo, but also leads to the contagion of various diseases. Look around and you will see many people putting their hands on their faces. Many microbes prefer the warm and moist environment of the nose, as well as the mucous membrane-covered surfaces of the eyes and mouth. By avoiding these areas, it is easy to prevent infectious diseases.
9. Be careful with animals. Diseases transmitted from animals to humans are called "zoonopathy" and are more common and common than people know. If you have pets, make sure they get regular checkups and up-to-date vaccinations.
10. Watch the news. A good understanding of current events can help you make informed decisions about travel and other recreational activities. For example, the bird flu that once occurred in Asia deserves your attention.
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