8 Ways to protect yourself from Swine Flu

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Esparta 

If you read the newspaper or listen to news on the television, you’ll hear about how people are being diagnosed with swine flu and some have, unfortunately, succumbed to it. The state of Telengana and Andhra Pradesh are reeling with new cases of swine flu every day. You or your loved ones don’t have to be one of the many cases of swine flu. Thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself from this disease, which has become quite rampant in India of late.

1. Personal Hygiene

Just like we wash our hands before eating a meal, make it a practice to wash your hands with soap and water frequently. When people go out, they touch several surfaces that could be contaminated with the swine flu virus. By washing your hands frequently, you will reduce the chances of transmitting the virus from your hands into your body, thereby protecting yourself.

2. Cover Your Nose and Mouth While Sneezing

Many of us don’t realize that we are spraying spittle while sneezing. This microscopic airborne discharge from our nose and mouth contains millions of pathogens. So, if you or a loved one sneezes, make it a practice to cover your nose and mouth. If you can’t cover your nose and mouth, sneeze into the upper portion of your sleeve.

3. Hygienic Disposal of Used Tissue

Today, it is a common practice in urban India to use tissues to blow noses or sneeze into. However, not much thought is given into disposing this used tissue. Many people just discard them on the road. Unfortunately, this also is one of the reasons for the rampant proliferation of viruses. So, if you use a tissue to blow your nose or wipe your mouth after sneezing, please dispose it properly – in a dustbin. This way you’ll be protecting yourself and others from contracting the virus.

4. Be Aware of Flu Symptoms

If you know what the main symptoms of flu are, you will be able to seek timely medical treatment and prevent it from getting worse or transmitting your infection to others. Some of the symptoms of flu are:

  • High grade fever – around 38 degrees Celsius
  • Runny nose
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Persistent cough
  • Headache

5. Keep Your Distance

If you know someone has been diagnosed with flu, maintain a distance of at least 1 metre while talking or being with the person. This will go a long way in protecting you from getting swine flu or other variants of flu.

6. Stay at Home

In case a loved one or someone you know has flu symptoms, it is best for the person to stay at home. Do not send a child to school until the symptoms abate and the same goes for an adult – he or she should not go to their workplace. This reduces the chances of transmitting the infection to others and also goes a long way in ensuring speedy recovery.

7. Do Not Hug or Kiss

One of the most common ways of contracting any type of communicable disease, including swine flu, is by kissing and hugging others. While a person may not have the symptoms, he or she still could be carriers.

8. Do Not Touch Your Nose or Mouth

If you haven’t had the opportunity to wash your hands with soap and water, refrain from touching your nose or mouth. Your hands collect germs and the moment you touch your mouth or nose with unclean hands, you will transmit those germs to yourself, thus increasing the possibility of getting swine flu.