So it’s cold and there’s a flu strain going round, but could you be setting yourself up for a cold unknowingly? Likely.
The common cold is very transmissible. This is because viruses are spread by touch and through the air. Just by the act of breathing you may pick something from someone sneezing.
While you can't keep yourself from breathing, there are certain things you can do to keep germ spreading behavior at bay by being cautious of the following habits.
- Not washing hands
One of the ways to prevent colds is by washing hands consistently with water and soap or alcohol hand gels. This not only removes dirt but gets rid of germs that carry cold viruses.
- You constantly touch your face
If your hands are germy and you’re touching your face, you’re significantly boosting your risk of getting sick. That’s because cold viruses enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth. Maintain a hands-off policy which is better for your skin too.
- Hidden allergies
If someone has a dust allergy for example, they might have more nasal obstruction in general and even a tiny cold feels unbearable. If your cold doesn’t seem to be improving within the standard timeframe of 7 to 10 days, consult an ENT specialist.
- Spending time in close quarters
During the cold season, people tend to stay indoors with closed windows in efforts to retain heat in the room. However, this puts you at risk as you share germs with those in close proximity through sneezing and coughing. Ensure the rooms are well ventilated to allow the air to circulate and try get some fresh air.
- Compromised immune system
According to Stephen Parodi, MD, infectious disease expert at Kaiser Permanente, those with a compromised immune system can be either from a disease specific to the immune system, certain types of cancers that target the immune system such as lymphoma or leukemia, or medication that suppresses the immune system like chemotherapy are more susceptible to infections including colds. Age also plays a huge role in the strength of your immune system and cold-fighting abilities. For instance, infants and the elderly are at a much higher risk for more severe infections due to immune issues.