Everyone is worried about germs. The social isolation we face right now is geared toward ensuring that people stop spreading this viral infection. However, there are times when you need to go to the bank, the grocery store, or the doctor's office. When you make these essential trips, you must practice correct respiratory hygiene.
The parameters for good respiratory hygiene
The Center for Disease Control or the CDC issued many guidelines on how a person can stay safe. While there is no foolproof method, there are ways to reduce the spread of deadly germs and bacteria. You should pay attention to the following methods for proper respiratory hygiene.
1. Always wear a face mask
There is a lot of confusion about who should wear a face mask. A person who is sick or has seasonal allergies will sneeze and cough a lot. These people should always wear a mask when they are away from home or even at home to have proper respiratory hygiene.
As for others who are not sick, it is also advisable to wear something to cover their mouth and nose when they are around the sick.
Although many people have been careful about this and made their own masks due to a shortage, these may not provide adequate protection.
Doctors wear N95 quality masks to keep out germs and to provide adequate breathing.
But if you use a homemade variety, remove it by the laces and wash it before the next use. Wash your hands after removing it.
On the other hand, if you are using a disposable mask, put on a new one for each use. These are not reusable and your germs and bacteria get trapped in the fibers.
2. Dispose of tissues after each use.
You probably have tissue boxes during this allergy season. In respiratory hygiene, when you use facial tissues, you should throw them away quickly. Don't put them on a table or other surface where germs can spread.
Throw them in the nearest trash can and make sure they fit properly. You don't want to infect anyone who can pick them up for you. If you prefer cost-cutting measures and want to use a non-disposable tissue, you will have to resist the urge as your respiratory hygiene depends on it.
A tissue seems like an inexpensive option, but it will spread germs throughout your home until it is properly washed. Do you really want to infect your family if your condition is bacterial instead of viral?
3 In respiratory hygiene always sneeze and cough into your elbow
You've probably heard that you should cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. The theory behind this is that microscopic droplets from the nasal cavity and mouth spread to the air and to nearby surfaces. These droplets are infected with bacteria that you harbor inside your body.
While putting your hand over your mouth seems like the logical choice, it's best to cough into your elbow. The elbow is a larger surface and does not have small spaces like the fingers. There is a better chance of holding the drops when you place your elbow firmly around your mouth.
4. Washing your hands is essential
First of all, you have to know that there is no limit to the times you can wash your hands, especially with the flu and current viruses. However, what many people don't know is how to do this routine ritual correctly. For this, the water you wash with has to be as warm as you can tolerate.
It is not advisable to wash your hands in cold water, as you will not be effectively killing germs. You want the water to be hot enough to get rid of any bacteria on your hands. Then apply a jet of soap the size of a fifty-cent piece.
Rub your hands together vigorously for about 20 seconds. Always use soap, as the foam separates germs from your skin and carries them down the drain.
When rubbing your hands underwater, be sure to scrub between your fingers and palms. Many of the areas on your hands are not cleaned properly in a rush. Teach your children the correct way to wash from a young age, and this will help their immunity throughout life.
Also, when you're standing in front of the sink, thinking it's a waste of time, remember that a surgeon washes himself thoroughly before undergoing surgery. They are washed up to the elbows and for several minutes to ensure that there is no risk of contamination.
With viral infections on the rise globally, you can't risk any bacteria remaining. If you prefer to use hand sanitizer, you should use a formula that contains 90 percent alcohol. Although nothing is as good as soap and water, it can come in handy when you don't have a sink available.
5. Take extra precautions and be cautious
Viral infections can cause complications in those with compromised immune systems, the elderly, people with diabetes, heart disease, or other risk factors. If you are elderly or have delicate health problems, then you should not go out at all.
Your respiratory hygiene can only protect you up to a point. You should ask someone else to bring you groceries or your medicines. Only go out when necessary. The more exposed you are to people and germs, the greater the chances of infection.
What not to do about respiratory hygiene
Now that you know all the things you need to do to protect yourself from bacterial and viral invaders, here is a list of things you should not do if you want to have good respiratory hygiene.
1. Invade the personal space of others
Social distancing guidelines suggest that you stay at least six feet from the person next to you. While this may not be possible in all situations, the key is to put distance between people.
For example, you cannot pay for your purchases without giving your money to the cashier. If you are at least a meter away, this may offer some protection.
Remember, cough drops can travel up to 8 meters away, so you don't want to be around someone who is sick.
2. Stay home, especially if you are sick
If you are sick or have been away recently, you should not go out and risk infecting others. Before you go out, make sure you have no fever for at least 72 hours, are not coughing or have difficulty breathing, and have had no symptoms for at least seven days.
While it is difficult to isolate yourself from your family, you should be quarantined in a room until you are fully healed. As long as you continue coughing, there may still be contagion, so practice safety to avoid infecting the people you love.
3. Don't take antibiotics
People assume that the moment they get sick they need to take antibiotics. The problem is, these drugs don't work on a viral infection. Another problem is that people develop immunity to these drugs, making them less likely to work in the future.
Nature offers many great options that have no side effects. Did you know that garlic is one of the most powerful natural forms of antibiotics? It has been used for thousands of years to cure many conditions and is very beneficial.
4. Don't forget your pets
It sounds strange to say that you should practice respiratory hygiene around your pets, but you should also practice good habits with them. Even if you have a virus that cannot be spread to your furry friend, the droplets can cling to his fur for some time.
Since very little is known about this current viral threat. So, according to the University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine team, it's best to keep your pets at a safe distance when you're sick.
Furthermore, they state that there is no current evidence that dogs or cats can transmit this disease. If your pet is older or has respiratory health problems, then it is especially important that you protect it. It is the same as when you are with people. Make sure to cover yourself when you cough and throw away tissues after cleaning your nose.
5. Don't travel
Many people don't take their health seriously enough. If you have a vacation planned soon, consider canceling it. Even if you go to an area that is not greatly affected by outbreaks of viral infections, traveling increases the chances of meeting someone who is ill.
It only takes a fraction of a second to become infected with bacterial germs.
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