Influenza Season: Time for Extra Precautions

HEALTH

By Norfy Shafeq

A list of good hygiene practices to be heeded every day and especially during the flu season

The outbreak of Influenza A in Penang involving 53 students on 9th January 2020 and 22 infected in Selangor a day after are worrying. While in Johor state, 89 school children are suspected to be infected spanning around 8 districts! It is high time to stay safe and treat yourself, family and friends to take some simple precautions.

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Wash your hands after touching any communal surfaces

Always remember to wash your hands especially before and after meals and after going to the bathroom especially after returning from outdoors and when you have touched anything that is shared or commonly used by the public. It is a good practice to sanitise your hands immediately.

Take that flu shot

It is best to practice personal hygiene and flu shots could be your best deal to add more defense. Flu shots would take around 2 weeks to be effective and it may run out in hospitals as the demand for it spikes during the influenza season. Therefore, it is advisable to get it prior to the season or keep a lookout for announcements whenever the vaccine is available.

Keep a distance from a person who is coughing or sneezing. Always cover your mouth

This sounds really bad but it is best to avoid the coughers and sneezers, as they may have the necessary immunity to defend themselves but you probably aren’t. Remember; human transmission can be caused by exposure to droplet and direct/indirect contact with feces or nasal secretion of the sick person or even animals. Therefore, it is essential when one is coughing or sneezing to always cover their mouth to minimise spread.

It is also best not to share your food, and drink from the same cup with anyone who seems sick. This could be even our family members or classmates, and it is important to educate our young ones especially.

Stay hydrated

 The Health Ministry has advised everyone to stay hydrated during this season. Constantly take a few sips of warm water – at least 50-80cc for adults and 30-50cc for children based on their age to keep the throat moist. Do not wait to drink water only when you are very thirsty.

 Get enough sleep

Adequate sleep equals to optimal immune system functioning. This would also help prevent respiratory viruses such as the flu. Sufficient amount of sleep helps you build that protection within you. Get that much needed sleep and rest!

Share this reminder to people you know and always be on high alert and stay healthy.

 

*These tips and pointers are mere suggestions by the writer and by no means to be substituted as medical advice.

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