Going Viral: How to Avoid Viruses in the Winter

Colds and the flu are both quite common. However, there are many different ways you can avoid becoming infected. These viruses are present during the entire year, even though most flu and cold infections often happen during the fall and winter.

Even with modern medicine and all the tools available to fight a cold or the flu, it still takes a toll on you. It makes you feel horrible for a few days and it might even cause you to miss work, and time with family and friends. To avoid this, here are a few different ways you can be healthy all year round!

1. Get Vaccinated

Vaccines offer the most protection against these common viruses. The flu, for example, is caused by the influenza virus. What flu vaccines do is introduce influenza antigens into your immune system, which produce antibodies that will protect you.

There are 4 different types of influenza virus, and all of them can mutate throughout the year. This can cause the vaccines to be less effective, but if they’re well-matched to the virus, they will reduce your chances of infection by 40 to 60 percent. Vaccines won’t make you completely immune, but they will reduce your chances and the severity of the symptoms if you do happen to get the flu.

2. Disinfect!

Viruses survive on different kinds of surfaces, including paper, glass, fabrics, plastic, and metal. To make sure that you reduce your chances of getting infected by a virus, make sure you keep your surfaces disinfected. Use bleach or products with alcohol to disinfect your most commonly used areas, such as desks, countertops, tables, and even keyboards.

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3. Don’t Contaminate the Air

The flu and colds are both different kinds of respiratory infections. What this means is that the viruses responsible replicate inside the mucus membranes in the respiratory tract, and they can travel through the air in super tiny droplets of mucus. That’s why these infections are so contagious. You can reduce the risk of spreading these infections by staying home and covering your face whenever you have to sneeze or cough to keep the air around you clean.

4. Be Hygienic

Hygiene is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself against viral infections. Make sure you wash your hands regularly, as you can infect yourself if you touch your face after touching a contaminated surface. If you can’t wash your hands with soap, get a hand sanitizer with alcohol that you can carry with you everywhere.

5. Take Zinc and Eat More Fiber

Zinc is a micronutrient that’s naturally occurring in fish, nuts, meat, and other foods. Zinc deficiency can lead to a weak immune system, so make sure your diet is rich and zinc so you can enjoy its benefits. Eating more fiber can also help you avoid these infections because it boosts your immune system. It also has many other health benefits, so make sure you include this in your diet as well.

Contact us for healthy tips or to set up an appointment today!