And, on average, adults come down with the common cold, which can last over a week, two to three times a year.
December to February are peak times for these illnesses. There are many ways to become ill, especially if you aren’t careful. The flu virus travels through droplets released during coughing, sneezing or talking, and is transmitted if a person touches a surface with these droplets and then rubs their eyes, nose or mouth.
Almost 70 percent of common illnesses are actually spread by touch. This is not all that surprising, considering there are over 25,000 germs per square inch on a cellphone (10 times more than the average toilet), 30 percent of which end up on your hands. (Hands themselves have an average of 3,200 germs on average.) Even laundry has germs, as the average load, if not washed properly, carries 100 million E. coli bacteria.
The threat of getting sick is high, but there are many ways to avoid that. One of the easiest actions is a time-tested classic: Washing your hands…and often. Medical experts recommend washing for at least 20 seconds with soap, making sure to scrub both sides, in between fingers, and the underside of nails. If a sink isn’t available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
Keeping your hands away from your face is another careful step, even if your hands are clean. Also use disinfectant wipes on phones, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, etc. Very few surfaces are germ-free, and while most germs aren’t dangerous, disinfecting your hands and what they touch is important.
Getting a flu shot is also an option. There are pros and cons to consider, but getting the vaccine can be a good tool for prevention. Even eating well can lower your chances of getting sick, as a good diet positively impacts your immune system.
As life gets busier, you don’t need a cold to slow you down; keeping clean can mean staying healthy and on your A-game.
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