Infection Control: 4 Habits That Help Protect Your Body from Nasty Illnesses

Colds, influenza and many nastier illnesses move around easily from person to person. Coming down with one of these illnesses may have you feeling bad for two weeks or more. You may miss work or school and could even end up with serious health complications. These four habits will help to protect your body from many nasty illnesses.

Hand Washing

Hand washing is one of the simplest yet most important actions to protect yourself from illnesses. Wash your hands with soap and warm water. You should rub your hands together for 30 seconds. Use a towel to turn off the water. Wash your hands before and after meals, after using the toilet, before and after preparing food and after coming in from outdoors.

Sanitize Shared Surfaces

Once per week, perform a deep cleaning of all of the surfaces in your home. Between doing the deep cleanings, you can use sanitizing wipes or a diluted bleach solution to keep shared surfaces free of germs. Be sure to wipe down all of the frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, refrigerator handles, remote controls, phones, microwave touch pads and cabinet pulls.

Good Oral Health

Good oral health also helps to protect you from many dangerous germs. The bacteria that grow in your mouth can cause infections of the gum tissue. Professionals, like those at Hoffman & Karl Dental Associates, PLLC, know that these can then spread and get into your bloodstream. Once bacteria are in your bloodstream, they can cause infections throughout your body. Brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes. Floss daily. Use an antiseptic mouth rinse before bed. Be sure to visit your dentist every six months for an oral exam and professional cleaning.

Practice Cough and Sneeze Hygiene

Coughing and sneezing result in a spray of germs that can be launched 10 to 30 feet away from your face. These germs then settle on every surface. When you feel the need to cough or sneeze, do so into the crook of your elbow. If you cannot do this, use a tissue to catch any coughs or sneezes, then dispose of the tissue.

These four habits are easy to implement over the course of a few weeks. You can also remind the other members of your household to do the same, which will help stop illnesses from spreading between your family members. If you do get sick, be sure to stay home and isolate yourself so that you do not spread germs to your friends, family or coworkers.

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