Spreading the germs:
Welcome to the cold and flu season. It arrives every autumn and winter like clockwork. After all, this virus can spread so quickly (are you reaching for the antibacterial hand sanitizer yet?). You only have to be near someone who is sick. Then, when they cough, sneeze or talk, you can catch their pesky germs in an instant. So this is why most of us suffer from two or three colds every year.
Finding a solution:
What’s worse than having a bad cold though, is the flu. In addition, it can be particularly dangerous for children, pregnant women and anyone over the age of 65. Unfortunately, this year the NHS is expecting 2017 to be the worst flu season in history. So they are strongly recommending that we all have a flu jab to protect ourselves against the main strains of the virus. Check with your doctor’s surgery if you are eligible for a free flu jab first. If not, most local pharmacies offer the injection for around £10.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water and always sneeze or cough into a tissue. If you commute into work and use public transport invest in a hand sanitiser and keep it in your pocket or handbag.
- Smokers are more prone to colds because they have a weakened respiratory tract. So this is another very good reason to quit or to cut down your nicotine intake!
- A virus will spread by hand-to-hand contact. So, if someone if your family is ill, regularly clean all the surfaces with an antibacterial spray. Wash children’s toys regularly too.
- Having a weakened immune system can increase your risk of developing a cold. Therefore, stock up on multi-vitamins and try to prioritise getting a good night’s sleep.
- Keeping fit and exercising regularly is good for the mind, body and soul. Moderate exercise will also help to boost the immune system and help your body beat any infections.
- A diet high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will help you leap and bounds when it comes to fighting a cold. Oily fish, garlic, mushrooms and red peppers are all flu-busting foods so keep them stocked up in the food cupboard at home.
- Eating fruits filled with Vitamin C (hello satsumas, grapefruit and limes) can help to reduce the length of a cold by a day.
- Try drinking tea made from fennel seeds to ease a persistent cough and to soothe a chest infection.