Cold and flu viruses
are some of the most widespread and adaptable pathogens nature can throw at us. It’s impossible to avoid them completely, but you can arm your household with the tools you need to succeed in nature’s “germ warfare.”
- Sanitise hot spots: Cold and flu viruses are more frequently transmitted from nonporous surfaces, such as plastic, finished wood, and metal. Once a day during the cold & flu season, use an antibacterial wipe to disinfect the frequently touched hard surfaces around your home: taps, doorknobs, phones, worktops, keyboards, light switches, toilet handles and remote controls.
- Keep hands clean: Because hand-to-hand and hand-to-surface contact are two of the most common ways to spread viruses, frequent hand washing is essential. Also consider getting bottles of hand sanitiser for places far from sinks: the car, the garage, and high-contact places away from home such as work or the gym.
- Separate the rations: Avoid serving foods communally. Pour snacks into individual containers rather than letting everyone reach into the bag.
- Issue tissues: Sneezing spreads germs quickly. Give your family members tissues to carry with them, and stash boxes or travel packs in key places: the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, glove boxes, backpacks, and handbags.
- Flu vaccination: Find out if flu vaccination is right for you and your family. Flu vaccination can be an effective means of preventing infection, but it’s more appropriate for ‘at risk’ members of the community such as the over 65s, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system. The best time for vaccination is early autumn when the flu season starts, and supplies of the vaccine are more readily available. Your doctor can offer advice on vaccination for your family against currently active strains of flu. Studies have shown that the flu jab definitely works and will help prevent you getting the flu. However, it won't stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary between people, so it's not a 100% guarantee that you'll be flu-free. Flu vaccinations prevent flu or reduce the severity of the symptoms; they do not prevent a cold as the viruses are different for colds and flu.