Do you know that like COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus, cold and flu are also caused by a virus named influenza? Both are respiratory viruses and are spread by droplet infection. So, if you are a caregiver looking for preventive measures to combat cold and flu, don’t worry. The safety measures that you might be already following to avoid getting infected by coronavirus may be sufficient to combat the common cold and flu. However, if you are still apprehensive, have a look at these 9 preventive measures that you can take amid a raging pandemic.
- Get a flu shot – Check with your doctor and get a flu vaccine as soon as possible in this season. In the wake of COVID-19, this is all the more vital to stay healthy.
- Wash your hands often – You may be already carrying an alcohol-based sanitizer wherever you are going, but still you must focus on washing your hands more than often with soap or a sanitizer. Also, encourage your loved one to follow hand hygiene.
- Wear a face mask – Cold and flu symptoms do not become apparent overnight. Like COVID-19, cold and flu are also highly contagious. So, wearing a mask and possibly disposable gloves during caregiving may prove an effective precautionary measure.
- Avoid getting close to sick people – As a caregiver, it may be tough for you to figure out a way to avoid getting close to sick people, especially if any of your loved ones is already suffering from a disease. However, since getting a common cold or flu is not something that you can afford amidst a pandemic, try to maintain a physical distance in such a case.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces – Make sure to thoroughly clean all the high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, keys, smartphones, countertops, handrails, and so on.
- Eat nutritious food – Try to eat homemade food that ensures a balanced diet. After all, to prevent or fight an infection, your body must have plenty of necessary vitamins and minerals.
- Use a cloth or tissue paper while sneezing – While this is basic etiquette that must be followed regardless of whether there is a pandemic or not, many do not pay heed to this extremely easy measure to combat cold and flu.
- Regular exercise – Since due to travel restrictions and fear of infection, people are not going outside unless necessary, physical activity is also reduced. So, engage in regular exercising and encourage other family members for overall improvement in mental and physical health.
- Make sure to have enough sleep – There is a connection between lack of sleep and infection vulnerability. So, make sure to have adequate sleep.
Remember, the symptoms of both cold and flu as well as COVID-19 are more or less similar. So, it may be a tough time for you to differentiate between the two infections based on only visible symptoms. As a result, you must be extra vigilant about your own health as well as the health of the care recipient.