18 July 2008

To prevent Cold or flu, we should know how does the Flu Spreads. The flu usually spreads from person to person in respiratory droplets when people who are infected cough or sneeze. People occasionally may become infected by touching something with influenza virus on it and then touching their skin, mouth, nose or eyes.

Healthy adults may be able to infect others 1 day before getting symptoms and up to 5 days after getting sick. Therefore, it is possible to give someone the flu before you know you are sick as well as while you are sick.

What Can You Do to Prevent a Cold?
Colds are extremely difficult to prevent entirely. The following suggestions may help :
  1. Avoid close contact with people who have a cold, especially during the first few days when they are most likely to spread the infection.
  2. Wash your hands after touching someone who has a cold, after touching an object they have touched, and after blowing your own nose. If your child has a cold, wash his or her toys after play.
  3. Keep your fingers away from your nose and your eyes to avoid infecting yourself with cold virus particles that you may have picked up.
  4. Put up a second hand towel in the bathroom for healthy people to use.
  5. Keep an eye on the humidity of your environment so that your sinuses do not dry out.
Do not inflict your cold on others!
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands. Also, stay away from people who are most vulnerable, including anyone who has asthma or another chronic lung disease, or at least try to limit close contact.

Best Protection against the Flu : Vaccination
The single best way to protect yourself and others against influenza is to get a flu vaccination each year. There are currently 2 vaccine options :

The flu shot
  • An inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm.
  • For use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease.
The nasal-spray flu vaccine
  • A vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for “live attenuated influenza vaccine” or FluMist®).
  • For use in non high risk group; healthy people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.
  • You need a flu vaccine every year because the virus is constantly changing and new vaccines are developed annually to protect against new strains.
Early winter season, or rainy season is the best time to get vaccinated.

NOTE: No vaccine is 100% protective and the flu vaccine is no exception. Sometimes a person who has been vaccinated will still come down with the flu.

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