How to Minimise Your Exposure to Winter Colds and Flu
The onset of Winter means cooler temperatures and a rise in cases of the common cold.
On average, adults have 3 colds a year and children can have up to 10 a year. People in good health, with a healthy immune system, may take between a week to 10 days to overcome cold symptoms.
Colds occur frequently and are caused by viruses. The flu is also caused by a virus. A cold is similar to a flu and shares many symptoms, such as fever, sneezing, a runny nose, a sore throat or congestion in the chest.
The main difference between a cold and the flu is the longer duration of symptoms and the severity. Some flu viruses can cause complications leading to hospitalisation, especially in cases of pneumonia.
Many of us have pushed through various cold and flu symptoms and not taken any time off from work. As annoying and impractical as a cold can be, not allowing your body to rest may prolong your symptoms and expose others to your symptoms.
The best methods of prevention can include an annual flu vaccination, preferably in autumn. This gives your immune system a chance to develop resistance before winter.
Other practical ways to minimise your exposure to cold and flu viruses could include:
- Washing your hands with soap often especially after trips to shopping centres or public toilets
- Avoiding sharing cups and cutlery
- Disposing of any used tissues and washing hands immediately
- Not touching your nose and mouth
- Keeping surfaces such as phones, keyboards and doors clean to reduce germs
For more information on the flu or an annual vaccine visit the Immunise Australia website or call the Information Line on 1800 671 811