Top 10 tips to avoid common infections

With approaching levels of humidity and heat this summer season, it may look like a real daunting task to keep yourself and your loved ones infection-free.

Even though it is scientifically proven that your skin acts as a natural barrier against detrimental and risky microbes that lead to the causes of infections, by making a few simple natural and behavioural changes, one can easily prevent infectious diseases. We present our top 10 tips to avoid common infections.

Keep wounds neat and clean:
Cuts and abrasions can be easily infectious if they are not treated properly. Do note that even after you have carefully treated them, post-treatment care is a must. It involves applying peroxide solution, present in anti-bacterial over-the-counter available solutions, once or twice in a day.

Safe sex is important:
Use condoms to keep you safe from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Choose a reliable partner who cares for you rather than casual sexual encounters as the latter might be unsafe and risky. Be aware of the your partner's sexual history. This is because many people who have STDs are asymptomatic i.e. there are no visible symptoms. The best scenario is routine tests, if you are sexually active with multiple partners.

Avoid communicable diseases as much as you can:
It is important to keep in mind that both bacterial and viral infections can be transmitted easily in case of any interpersonal contact with an individual carrying infections. Sharing drinks, food, bed space and using the same utensils can be risky as the transmission of disease is tripled by these activities.

Personal hygiene is the key to infectious-free living:
Changing clothes at least twice in a day, bathing on a daily basis, changing your inner wears once a day (if possible twice), and changing inner footwear daily are all must-do practices to ward off infections. Make sure your fingernails and toenails are clean enough as the bacterias and viruses thrive on these regions predominantly. Also, avoid sharing towels with another individual as much as you can.

Washing your hands is an important exercise:
Washing helps in removing the germs from your hand. Whenever, pre-meal or post-meal, when you wash your hands - scrub thoroughly with water for 10 to 30 seconds as it helps in disinfecting your hands, keeping the nasty germs from spreading. Also, use an alcohol-based sanitizer as and when you think you can't get up to wash your hands.

Vaccines help in preventing infections:
Talk to your doctor about the vaccines that are a must for you. If you are travelling, talk to your doctor about the vaccines you might need beforehand in order to avoid infectious diseases. The vaccines will depend upon the place you are visiting and weather conditions. The only way one can safely keep disease like yellow fever, mumps, typhoid, and rubella away is by getting duly vaccinated.

Your pet can be your best friend, but do exercise caution with them:
Infections that spread from animals are called 'zoonotic diseases' and are extremely common. Make sure to take your pet for regular check-ups and that their vaccinations are up-to-date. Rabies, bird flu, ticks and Lyme disease are a few common diseases one can acquire from animals. Educate children in your household to always wash their hands after they play with the pet. Also, make sure you clean the litter box frequently as animal feces can play host to some infectious diseases.

However, animals, like kids and adults, are just as prone or safe from infectious diseases as the hygiene practised. A clean and well-groomed pet will cause you no harm.

Be a news magnet, when it comes to saving yourself from infections:
A decent amount of understanding of the recent happenings will help you in making wise decision while travelling or when going for any kind of recreational activity in the city. Right from the viruses that are plaguing the city to the vegetables, which are highly contaminated, keeping up with the news is a great way to remain infection-free and keep most diseases at bay.

Safe cooking is healthy cooking:
Do note that food-borne diseases usually crop up when the food is not prepared in a healthy and safe manner or when the dining habits are unhygienic. Microbes live on food, especially if the food item is left unattended for a long period of time. Do make it a point to refrigerate food within 2 hours of its preparation. It is always advisable to use separate cutting boards for vegetables and raw meats. Keep your countertops clean. Also, wash all your fruits and vegetables before eating.

Be a smart, healthy traveller:
Be a smart traveller and practice healthy travelling tips, especially if you are going to countries known for certain communicable diseases. If your travelling destination has questionable drinking water, then account for bottled water for the entire trip. Eat foods, which are well cooked instead of going for raw vegetables. Finally, make it a point to get your due immunizations before travelling to any place outside your country, if required.

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