Germs are everywhere. They are tiny creatures that are invisible to the naked eye. They live in your food, water, animals, and plants, and they are in the air. It’s pretty much impossible to avoid them. Fortunately, most of them are not harmful – you even have trillions of beneficial bacteria in your stomach!
What protects you against harmful germs, bacteria, and viruses is our immune system. Some viruses, however, bring illnesses and can be deadly. Many of them can mutate to continue to breach your natural defenses. Can you do anything about it?
Here are some ways you can protect yourself from viruses (and other infections).
Wash Hands Frequently
Do you know that you touch your face thousands of times every day? In between that, you touch various other things, from doorknobs to your mobile phones to foods. You get the idea – your hands are pretty much the carrier of viruses lurking around. So, to protect yourself, meticulous hand-washing is necessary. Wash your hands before you handle foods and eat, after you used the bathroom, and when you’ve been out in public areas. Also, avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth.
Avoid Contact With Sick People
When someone around you is sick, respectfully keep your distance. Airborne droplets from their cough or sneeze can make you sick as well. Also, try to avoid crowded places and large public areas. If you’re the one who’s sick, it is best to stay at home and get better. That way, you can stop the spread of the virus, and you also give yourself some rest to assist your recovery.
Clean Potentially Contaminated Surfaces
Many viruses can’t live outside the body of a living host for too long. However, some of them can remain alive on any surface, and how long for depends on the type of material. The coronavirus, for example, can survive on surfaces for nine days. To protect yourself, you must clean potentially contaminated surfaces at home and in your workplace. Disinfect doorknobs, glass doors, and other surfaces that are frequently touched by many people.
Take Appropriate Medications
Some illnesses can run their course, and you heal without medicines. However, others need proper medications to help your body fight off the infection. Because of that, it is necessary to consult your doctor when you are feeling unwell, and you suspect that you have an infection.
Your doctor will be able to diagnose the type of infection that you have and prescribe the right medicines. Remember, antibiotics will not work on viral infections, and antiviral drugs won’t be effective against bacterial infections. Taking inappropriate medicines can aggravate your condition.
Practice Good Health Habits
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, your immune system is what keeps you safe against viruses, germs, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens. Hence, it is crucial to have a healthy immune system. Otherwise, viruses could easily penetrate your system and wreak havoc on your health. To boost your immune system, you must practice good health habits. These include eating foods that are high in essential nutrients, getting plenty of sleep so your body can heal itself, managing your stress levels, and being physically active.
Do Not Take Things For Granted
Scientists have developed vaccines against many viral infections that occurred in the past. Many vaccines are given when you are young, but as an adult, you may still need some routine vaccinations or booster shots. Talk to your doctor about the vaccines that you need.
Some infections are highly contagious, and yet many people take them for granted. That’s partly why the coronavirus has become a pandemic. Many people have ignored advisories from experts and authorities, thinking that the virus will not affect them and simply go away. The statistics prove them wrong.
Do your part by practicing social distancing, self-isolating, and following the guidance of the authorities when they implement measures such as community quarantine.
Viruses, germs, bacteria, and other microorganisms are a permanent part of our environment. Unfortunately, they can mutate and continue to infect people. As one doctor has said, health workers are not the real frontliners in “health warfare.” Instead, they are the last line of defense. YOU are the real frontliner. If you do your part to protect yourself from viruses, you are also helping to reduce their spread. Follow the tips above and stay healthy!