The rainy season brings not only colder weather but also increased risk of respiratory infections, such as colds and flu. The threat of respiratory infections becomes even greater amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, there are simple but effective steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from respiratory infections:
Get all the necessary vaccinations, including the annual flu vaccine. Consult your doctor for the appropriate immunization schedule for your family.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use rubbing alcohol or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Good hand hygiene is one of the most important things you can do to help prevent and control the spread of respiratory infections.
When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose using tissue or your sleeves or the bend of your elbow. Throw away used tissues properly. Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing, or use rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid crowded places and mass gatherings. When going out in public, maintain at least a distance of 2 meters (6 feet) from other people.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Touching the mucous membranes on your face with your dirty hands allows germs that cause respiratory infections to enter the body.
Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc that help strengthen the immune system. These include berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses, such as the common cold or flu virus. Inadequate sleep can also hamper recovery from illnesses.
Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Exercise results in positive changes in antibodies and white blood cells, as well as slows down the release of stress hormones that can weaken your immune system.
Shop at Watsons for over-the-counter and prescription medications, and other essential healthcare products.
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