The cold and flu season is now upon us as it ranges from October to April. Since they are caused by viruses, the best way to prevent them is to take action to protect yourself, but also to protect the most vulnerable people around you.
Influenza vaccination is an excellent way to protect yourself from the flu. It does not cover all strains, but covers those most likely to spread in the current year. This vaccine will not prevent you from catching a common cold, but it does help protect you from the flu. For more information on both viruses, refer to the article: Cold or Flu? Vaccination also serves to protect the most vulnerable population:
- Babies under 6 months of age
- Pregnant women
- The elderly
- Immunocompromised people or those with chronic diseases.
Many pharmacies and clinics offer this vaccination service. If you are a Dialogue member, contact us to find a service point.
2) Hand washing
Wash your hands regularly: before meals, after blowing your nose, when you are at work and when you come home. If you don’t have soap on hand, you can use a waterless hand sanitizer when you leave the house. Make sure that the disinfectant contains at least 60% alcohol to be as effective as possible.
3) Don’t touch your face
The entry doors for germs are the mucous membranes, so avoid putting your hands in your face unless they have been freshly washed.
4) The environment
Make sure to clean surfaces at home if a family member is sick. Many viruses are transmitted indirectly through the sharing of objects or environments.
5) Cough without contaminating
When coughing or suffering from a runny nose, use a tissue if one is available and if not, favor your elbow to your hand. The elbow or the tissue reduces the amount of droplets in the air when you cough or sneeze and reduces the risk of contaminating your office neighbours, family members or people sharing the same space.