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Infectious diseases: how to protect yourself from the flu

Infectious diseases: how to protect yourself from the flu

Colds are one of the most common diseases and are on everyone's lips, especially during the cold season. In this article you can read how you can best protect yourself.

Adults get a cold on average 2-3 times a year. So that your body can protect you from illness, you need a good immune system and hygiene that should not be neglected. Our goal is to make you fully aware of this topic again. Often we do not even notice how we are constantly touching our faces, for example, when we are in public all day and cannot wash our hands all the time. Here you will learn how viruses are differentiated from bacteria, what the difference is between a cold and the flu, and we give you tips on how to prevent infection in the first place.

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How do I get infected with infectious diseases?

Infectious diseases become transmitted via bacteria and viruses, you are contagious and can from person to person further carried, for example over the mouth, the eyes or the nose. By Droplets in the air, the virus can spread very easily, for example when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes. But also direct body contact like kissing, Sex or other contact with people can lead to illness. You can also go through the Contact with objects can be plugged in, such as door handles or contaminated food.

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Imagine your daily routine - maybe it looks something like this: You go out of the house, press the door handle, go to your bus stop and have to cross a traffic light on the way, to do this you press the traffic light. When you arrive at the bus stop, you jump into a crowded bus and have to hold on to a pole. At work, you first make yourself a coffee at the fully automatic machine - like so many of your colleagues. After work you want to go shopping quickly. How many people have held the products in their hands before you? What about the money with which you pay or get back? You go out of the supermarket and suddenly your face itches or something flies in your eye - you have to scratch yourself.

"Ugh ..." you might think now. Public spaces in particular are teeming with the risk of infection and you cannot always rely on everyone around you having the same hygiene standards as you. We don't want to panic you now and put you in a quarantine sack. Finally are not all pathogens are highly contagiousthat make you sick at the slightest physical contact. But we can come into contact with sick people faster than we are always consciously aware of.

Infectious diseases: how to protect yourself from the flu

 

Infectious Diseases: What Are Bacteria?

bacteria are microorganisms that consist of a single cell and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Bacteria can take care of themselves and have their own genetic makeup, theirs own metabolism and multiply through cell division. There are countless different bacteria with the most varied of shapes and structural characteristics. A handful of bacteria can be enough to trigger an infection in you.

You can find them everywhere in the environment, but also in your body - and are even important for your health! In fact, only about 1% of bacteria make you sick. you make you sick by entering your body and producing metabolic products, which are then noticeable through your symptoms. For example, you can find bacteria in your mouth and on your skin. But also for yours Gut Health do they play a role.

 

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Infectious Diseases: What Are Viruses?

virus are even smaller than bacteria and a different type of microorganism. Viruses are also very diverse and have a multitude of shapes and characteristics. In contrast to bacteria, Viruses need living cells or tissues to grow and multiply. Viruses can also invade your body cells - some viruses can even kill host cells as part of their life cycle. Viruses are not living beings because they do not have their own metabolism and need other cells to multiply. So their main task is to infect other cells.

 

Cold or Flu: What's the Difference?

The The common cold, also known as the flu, is a viral infection of your upper respiratory tract. Even if it doesn't always feel like this, having a cold is usually quite harmless. There are many types of viruses that cause the common cold, but the most common are rhinoviruses.1

Infectious diseases: how to protect yourself from the flu

Symptoms appear after approximately 1-3 daysafter you contracted the cold virus. The characteristics of the disease can express themselves differently from person to person. The time between infection and the onset of symptoms is also called the incubation period. Most people recover after 7-10 days from a cold.2

These are the symptoms of a cold:

  • runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneeze
  • Sore throat
  • to cough
  • Feeling of exhaustion
  • Body aches
  • headache
  • light fever
  • malaise

cold or flu

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Infectious diseases: coronavirus

There are many different coronaviruses, harmless forms only lead to a cold. However, the newly known and currently current SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has broken out in China, can lead to a serious lung disease (Covid-19). The symptoms are similar to those of the flu and are also transmitted via droplet infection.

 Infectious diseases: how to protect yourself from the flu

 

Protection against infectious diseases: tips to reduce the risk of infection

Avoiding infectious diseases is not that difficult. You can minimize the risk of getting sick as follows:

  • regular hand washing
  • Disinfect objects and surfaces
  • Use handkerchiefs
  • do not share useful objects
  • Distance to the sick
  • balanced and healthy diet
  • to keep moving

 Infectious diseases: how to protect yourself from the flu

Regular hand washing

Wash yourself regularly during the day Soap and water your hands for 20-30 seconds. We don't really need to mention that you should do this after every use of the toilet and before eating or preparing food ... If you are out all day, try to wash your hands or use a hand disinfectant as often as possible in between.

 

Disinfect objects and surfaces

Especially if someone in your household is sick, you should clean the surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom thoroughly. What about your smartphone? You use it every day, take it with you wherever you go - a powerful germ spinner. Researchers found that up to around 4000 bacteria, most of which are found in faeces, lurking on your screen. Cleaning is worth it.

Infectious diseases: how to protect yourself from the flu

 

Use handkerchiefs

If you sneeze or cough uncontrollably, use your elbow for protectionwhen you don't have a handkerchief on hand. Used handkerchiefs should be disposed of immediately and hands should be washed afterwards so that you do not infect anyone else.

 

Do not share useful objects

Avoid sharing glasses, cutlery, or other useful items with anyone. Sick people can write on their items or put them away as quickly as possible after use.

 

Distance to the sick

If someone around you is sick, you should keep a little distance from them and avoid close physical contact.

Infectious diseases: how to protect yourself from the flu 

Balanced and healthy diet

A balanced and healthy diet are important to that strengthen your immune system and protects you from infectious diseases. Drink enough water or unsweetened drinks and make sure that you supply your body with essential vitamins and minerals. Potential pathogens have a bad chance of being attacked.

 

Movement

Exercise, like regular exercise, is also important for a strong immune system. But even small units of movement, such as going for a walk, ensure that the body's defenses are strengthened.

Infectious diseases: how to protect yourself from the flu 

Summary

Basically, you can easily protect yourself against an infectious disease by observing your general hygiene, such as regular hand washing, disinfecting objects and surfaces, and trying to avoid touching your face.

So that your body is well prepared against pathogens, you should ensure a healthy and balanced diet and sufficient exercise in your everyday life for a strong immune system. If you don't want to miss further news and tips, follow us on Instagram and visit our YouTube Channel, where you will be informed in detail about interesting biohacking topics every Sunday.

 

 

[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/symptoms-causes/syc-20351605

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/Features/Rhinoviruses