Respiratory viruses are a constant health threat. They affect our breathing passages and cause respiratory illnesses such as a cold or flu-like illness. These can often be seasonal illnesses, arriving with the onset of winter every year.
Common symptoms of respiratory illnesses include fever, cough, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Although these symptoms can be of varying intensity, it is possible to manage them by taking simple steps. Other times, however, the effects can be debilitating, and even life-threatening.
It’s therefore crucial that we take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves – and those around us – as safe as possible from respiratory illness, by taking steps to stop the spread of respiratory viruses.
Dettol suggests these 6 steps to stop the spread of respiratory viruses to help us all stay healthy:
1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
2. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, get medical attention as soon as possible. Be sure to inform your medical practitioner about your recent travel history.
3. When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or use a tissue. Discard the tissue in a bin immediately and wash your hands.
4. Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough.
SEE ALSO: How to protect yourself from flu
5. Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid contaminating other foods and surfaces.
6. Avoid direct, unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces contacted by animals.
Another step you can take is to get a seasonal flu vaccine from a doctor or healthcare provider. Every March/April, the vaccine becomes available in most areas, and is formulated to keep up with the strains for each winter flu season.