On average, adults have the common cold 2-3 times a year, which can last over a week each time.
The months of December-February are peak times to get sick, and there are many ways to get sick, especially if you aren’t careful. The flu virus travels through droplets released during coughing, sneezing or talking. If a person touches a surface with these droplets and then rubs their eyes, nose, or mouth, they can get the flu. Almost 70% of common illnesses are actually spread by touch. This is not all that surprising, as there are over 25,000 germs per square inch on a cellphone— 10x more than the average toilet— 30% of which end up on your hands. Speaking of, hands themselves have 3,200 germs on average. Even laundry has germs, as the average load carries 100 million E. coli bacteria if not washed properly. The threat of getting sick is high, but there are many easy steps of prevention.
One of the easiest actions is a time-tested classic: washing your hands often. The recommended way to do this is to wash for at least 20 seconds with soap, making sure to scrub both sides, in between fingers, and the underside of nails. If a sink is not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer. Keeping your hands away from your face is another careful step, even if your hands are clean. Another tip is to clean off your surfaces. Use disinfectant wipes on phones, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, remote controls etc. as they see lots of hand traffic. Even your wallet has germs inside it. Very few surfaces are germ-free, and while most germs are not dangerous, disinfecting hands and what they touch is important. Cold and flu-preventing measures do not always have to be external. Getting a flu shot is always an option. Even eating well can lower your chances of getting sick, as a good diet positively impacts your immune system. As life gets busier, no one needs a cold to slow them down; keeping clean can mean staying healthy and on your A-game.
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