Preventing A Virus From Spreading

By Dr Anjul Dayal, Senior Consultant Paediatric Intensivist Continental Hospitals

"Being down with the flu or cold can be annoying, as it interferes with your daily routine. You are confined to your bed and cannot do anything. You are cranky, miserable and dependent on someone, it’s the worst feeling of all."

Even after all these advancements in the medical sciences and the technologies used in the medical field, we often come across the news of some new virus emerging. At the outbreak of these viruses, the one thing that comes to mind is - how to stop this?

Here are some ways to keep yourself and the people around you protected.

Keep Your Hands Clean

It’s no secret that our hands are the carriers of a number of disease-causing germs. Our hands touch a lot of things as we do our daily activities, and who knows what we touched had what.

The possibility of our hands getting contaminated with germs after we touch something populated by them is very high. Therefore, it is important to keep the hands clean. It is a healthy habit to maintain. However, you’ll be surprised to know that according to the India' Public Health Association, only 53 percent of people in India wash hands after defecation, 38 percent wash hands before eating and only 30 percent wash hands before preparing food.

Many people don't wash their hands, because they believe that hands that look clean cannot make them sick. This is wrong. We cannot see the germs with naked eyes so, even if your hands are clean they may be carrying a ton of germs. Therefore it is important to wash your hands frequently, and especially before eating, and after touching anything odd and shaking hands with anybody.

“The way that viruses transfer from person to person and place to place isn’t usually because you got coughed on by someone who’s sick,” explains pediatric infectious disease expert, Dr Anjul Dayal, Senior Consultant Paediatric Intensivist. “Instead, someone usually coughs on their hands and goes on to touch something. Then someone else touches that thing with their hands and their hands end up in their mouth – along with the virus.”

So, maintaining the habit of washing your hands every now and then is one of the best things you can do in the attempt of protecting yourself.

Does hand washing help children?

Maintaining good hand hygiene is extremely important in babies and small children too, if you want to prevent the spread of RSV.

Now, when it comes to toddlers, they cannot wash their hands very well, they cannot eliminating the germs entirely. This is where the alcohol-based rubs come into play, they work really well in sanitizing babies’ hands. Maintaining your hand hygiene becomes more important when you have kids around, as you don’t want them to catch a cold or the flu.

“When your child is home from school with a runny nose or cough, a lot of times the grandparents or other family members will come over to watch them,” says Dr Anjul Dayal.“It’s very important to make sure that everyone who is interacting with the kids knows to wash their hands.”

It is a good idea to teach your children to not touch their eyes and nose too often. This may sound a little uncanny, as a toddler, like a two-year-old will not be able to process and follow the instructions, but this is something that will help you in the long run. Educating them at this age will help them develop good habits like these later.

How to avoid getting sick?

If you are struggling to kick out the cold and flu season without becoming a victim follow these guidelines:

  • Be persistent about washing your hands thoroughly and frequently
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Keep a sanitizer in your bag. Place it around your home and in your office for convenience
  • Eat well. Keep your nutritious food intake at optimal levels to keep your immune system healthy
  • Exercise (indoors) regularly
  • Sleep well and sleep enough
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid going to work when you are sick. Stay at home and keep your kids at home if they’re sick.
  • Do not hold back when you start showing symptoms, seek medical assistance instantly.
Dr Anjul Dayal ,
Senior Consultant Paediatric Intensivist
Continental Hospitals

Disclaimer: : The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.

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