Ways to Stay Healthy and Prevent the Spread of Infection
It is cold and flu season. In light of that, as well as current news reports regarding other viruses that affect the health and well being of ourselves and our families, what can we do to stay reasonably healthy and prevent the spread of infection?
Some basic ways to keep your immune system healthy are to: eat nutritious foods; exercise several times a week; get plenty of rest; hydrate often throughout the day; and find ways to reduce stress.
Viruses can spread from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches surfaces contaminated by secretions like saliva, sputum and nasal mucus. To prevent the Enterovirus and other viruses, such as cold and flu:
1. Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. (Hand sanitizer is not effective against EV).
2. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
3. Avoid sharing cups or eating utensils, kissing or hugging with people who are sick.
4. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or into the inside of your elbow.
5. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
6. For school children, if they are ill keep them at home until they are without symptoms for 24 hours.
If there is a history of asthma the following steps are important to follow:
1. Follow your child's asthma action plan to maintain control of the asthma and use the medications as prescribed.
2. Have all asthma medications available at home and in school as ordered in your child's asthma action plan.
3. Call your primary care provider for worsening asthma symptoms. Some children have required hospitalization for more severe symptoms and difficulty breathing.
For all children, take advantage of self protection and get the flu vaccine. In addition, we encourage you to review and post the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) flier, entitled “Cover Your Cough” (See cdc cough.pdf attached).
CDC Cough Flyer
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- New Haven Public Schools