It is not always possible to prevent colds and the flu, but you can take many steps to reduce your risk.
The most important thing you can do to prevent most any illness is to wash your hands frequently. Washing hands reduces the risk of transmission of viruses and bacteria. Learn how important it is to wash your hands and how to do it properly.
A question that comes up frequently when it comes to washing your hands is what type of soap to use. Do those antibacterial soaps really protect you more than regular soap? Find out where the research stands on antibacterial soap.
2. Flu Vaccines
The traditional and nasal flu vaccines are the best way to prevent the flu. Although not 100% effective, the flu shot provides very good protection against the influenza virus. A few groups of people should always get a flu shot. Complications from the flu just aren't worth the risk of not getting the vaccine.
If you aren't a fan of shots, the nasal flu vaccine may be for you. It is also effective and is approved for healthy people ages 2 and older. Those under the age of 5 with recurrent wheezing should not use the nasal flu vaccine.
Find out if the nasal flu vaccine is right for you.
3. Staying Healthy Around Others
Whether you are at work or at home, being around sick people greatly increases your risk of getting sick. Even though these situations may not always be in your control, you can take a few steps to protect yourself. Find out how to live your life and stay germ free.
Washing your hands is always your best bet to prevent illness, but there is not always soap and water around. So, what is a germ-conscious person to do? Carrying hand sanitizer with you may be an option. See when hand sanitizer is effective and what the research shows about this hand washing alternative.
Sources: Key Facts about Influenza and the Influenza Vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 30 Aug 2006. Department of Health and Human Services. 31 May 2007. Germs and Hygiene. Medline Plus 24 May 2007. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. 31 May 2007.
Key Facts about Influenza and the Influenza Vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 30 Aug 2006. Department of Health and Human Services. 31 May 2007.
Germs and Hygiene. Medline Plus 24 May 2007. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. 31 May 2007.