Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Interesting H1N1 prevention tips

Published:Wednesday | March 30, 2016 | 3:00 AM
Wash hands long enough to kill the germs that can cause infections.
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Here are some very simple, interesting yet useful things you can do to help prevent the spread of the H1N1 influenza (flu) virus and help to prevent you from catching it.

 

1. RESPIRATOR MASK

 

The main entry point to get the flu is through the mouth/throat, nostrils and the eyes. Hence, this is why persons in high-risk situations (such as health-care workers) wear disposable respirator (dust/face) mask to protect themselves. These masks are available at every pharmacy and are quite reasonable. Purchase a few and use them if you find yourself in a high-risk situation, including if any member of your household, co-worker, etc, is displaying flu-like symptoms.

 

2. FREQUENT HAND WASHING

 

Nothing beats washing your hands as often as you can. The hands pick up germs quite easily and carry them around, putting you at risk of infecting yourself and others; so frequent hand-washing with soap and water is very important. Sing the 'Happy Birthday' song twice to make sure you have washed your hands long enough.

If you know you won't always have soap and water available, travel with a pack of antibacterial hand wipes or a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer and use it often throughout the day.

 

3. HANDS-OFF-THE-FACE APPROACH

 

We touch our face so often throughout the day, we don't even realise it. But our hands touch so many germ-laden things at any given time, that if they are contaminated and we touch our face we are bringing the virus/germs right to the nose, mouth and eyes - the main points of entry. So make a conscious effort, as much as you can, to avoid touching your face, especially if you are not sure how clean your hands are.

 

4. GARGLE

 

Gargle twice a day with warm saltwater or mouthwash with germ-killing properties. H1N1 takes two to three days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to show symptoms. Simply gargling twice a day with something that has germ-killing properties can help kill the infection.

 

5. CLEAN NOSTRILS

 

Clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm saltwater. Just mix a little warm saltwater, dip a cotton bud (swab) and thoroughly clean out your nose. Blowing the nose hard once a day, and swabbing both nostrils with the cotton bud dipped in warm saltwater, is very effective in killing viruses.

 

6. DRINK WARM LIQUID

 

Drink as much warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can throughout the day. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. Warm liquids help to wash off viruses from the throat and down into the stomach, where they cannot survive.

 

7. AVOID CLOSE CONTACT

 

As much as possible, avoid close contact with persons displaying flu-like symptoms. The H1N1 is highly contagious and can be spread quite easily by an infected person. Simply being in close to an infected person and having any form of intimate contact puts you at risk of catching it.

yourhealth@gleanerjm.com