Against the background of the coronavirus pandemic raging in the world, as well as the annual epidemics of influenza and SARS, it is not superfluous to recall simple but effective ways to prevent infections.
Every year, humanity is faced with epidemics that are caused by a variety of viruses. For the most part, we are talking about specifically influenza and ARVI (acute respiratory viral infection) in the broadest sense, but since 2019, everyone is talking about coronavirus, and in 2020 death from hantavirus has also been recorded.
Despite the variety of diseases, the methods of preventing most viral infections are the same and do not require any special training or special equipment. This is mainly about being as careful as possible so as not to put your own health and the health of those around you at risk if you do get sick. What do experts recommend to minimize the risk of catching the virus?
- Avoid crowds. If we take into account that other people are carriers of the infection, then this is the most reasonable way to reduce the likelihood of getting sick – not attending public events, using public transport minimally, avoiding people with signs of illness (coughing and sneezing).
- Minimize physical contact and keep your distance. During an epidemic, it is extremely undesirable to shake hands, hug and kiss, and it is better to stay at a distance of 1.5-2 meters from other people to prevent transmission of infection.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and an antiseptic. It is especially important to do this after every time you go out, travel on public transport, use gadgets, and before eating. It is recommended to wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
- Disinfect surfaces and gadgets. Advice, the relevance of which few people thought about before the coronavirus, although viruses can survive outside the human body on various materials.
- Do not touch your nose, mouth or eyes with your hands. Viruses enter the body through the mucous membranes, so their contact with dirty hands opens a direct path to the disease.
- Periodically ventilate the premises and carry out wet cleaning.
- Use only personal hygiene products and towels, personal or disposable dishes.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle. By this, doctors mean, first of all, a balanced diet, adequate sleep and regular physical activity.
In a situation, if you do get sick, you must also take a number of measures to protect others.
- First, try to isolate yourself from both your household and other people.
- Secondly, do not self-medicate, but seek medical help – do not go to the hospital, but call a doctor at home.
- Third, use a mask. It is important to understand that a healthy person does not need a mask – a patient needs it so that he does not spread the infection around him. Even if drops of biological fluids of a sick person fall on the mask worn by a healthy person, it is enough for the latter to touch the mask with his hand and then touch his mouth, nose or eyes to significantly increase the likelihood of getting sick.
- Fourthly, if you cough or sneeze, then do it in a napkin or paper handkerchief, throw it away and wash your hands immediately, and if this is not possible, then sneeze and cough into the crook of your elbow, but not into your palm.
For the prevention of influenza, it is important to be vaccinated annually, to increase the amount of foods with vitamin C in the diet (lemon, lingonberry, etc.).
Prevention of norovirus (intestinal) infection, in addition to washing hands before eating, means avoiding food of dubious origin, thorough washing and heat treatment of vegetables and fruits, drinking boiled water or bottled drinks in factory conditions.
Always remember that if an infection can be prevented by a vaccine, then never refuse the vaccine, which is the most reliable means of protecting against the disease. If there is no vaccine against the virus, then strictly follow the above recommendations – they are not complicated, but effective, because in an epidemic there are no “extra” methods of protection.