As a common saying goes,"An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure".The key is always prevention, prevention and prevention. One has to take the necessary precaution especially this winter season.
What experts say?
Christopher Tolcher, MD, a pediatrician in the Los Angeles area and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles says, “I wash my hands or use a hand sanitizer before and after every patient. I probably wash my hands 40 to 50 times a day. I have antiseptic wipes, and I regularly clean my desktop and my phone. I clean my stethoscope and even my pens with alcohol every day.”
Nancy Hughes, MS, RN, director of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health in Silver Spring, Md. She’s also careful after she washes. What to use? Warm water and soap will kill the germs, but be sure you don’t rush. “I try to wash for 20 seconds -- sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to myself twice. I use a paper towel to dry my hands and to turn off the faucet, especially in public bathrooms.”
Sandra Fryhofer, MD, MACP, clinical associate professor at Emory University School of Medicine and a general internist in Atlanta stated, "No matter how clean they may be, remember this: Hands are veritable germ factories, so keep them away from your nose and mouth. Also keep them away from your food during cold and flu season. I try to bring something I can eat with a spoon or fork, rather than a sandwich I have to handle. If you’re going to eat a sandwich, put a tissue or paper towel around it.” She further added, "A jog around the block a few times a week not only can do wonders for your physique -- it also might prevent you from getting sick. I try to get 20 to 30 minutes of cardio every morning before I go to work. There’s something about making your heart pump that’s good for your body. It strengthens your heart and strengthens your immune system.” Regarding sore throats this doctor often find relief from items stocked in their pantry and fridge where Fryhofer says, "I’m a big believer in herbal tea with honey and lemon. It’s easy to get down because it’s warm and comforting. Honey may also help if you have a cough." Other experts study showed that buckwheat honey helps relied children’s coughs compared to the cough suppressant dextromethorphan.
Neil Schachter, MD, professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and author of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu stated, "Computer keyboards, telephones, doorknobs, pens that are given to you when you sign for a credit card purchase or in a doctor’s office -- all of these are surfaces that have great potential for harboring germs. I make it a point of carrying around little bottles of alcohol-based cleansers, and I use them liberally after I suspect that I’ve been exposed."
Schachter from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York credits grandma’s good old-fashioned “penicillin” is another great soother of stuffed noses where he stated this, “I’ve enjoyed chicken soup for years. The vapor alone clears nasal passages and relieves the throbbing in the sinuses.” Recently researchers have found out what grandmothers have suspected all along -- where the ingredients in chicken soup (including the chicken stock, carrot, onion, and celery) could actually have some medicinal effect on the body’s immune system, easing the inflammation caused by cold viruses.
Lauren Richter, DO, assistant professor of family and community medicine at the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine says, "I like the teas, but a lot of people don’t like the taste, so pills are fine. I have some vitamin C in my diet every day, but I bump the dose up when I get sick. Generally it will reduce the length of the symptoms by at least a day or two and also will help with the severity. An extra 500 milligrams a day is about all you need. Also, I’m a huge fan of acupuncture, and I use it for prevention because there are many studies that show acupuncture boosts your immune system. I get it about every six to eight weeks, and then more frequently if I get sick."She further added, “Do the basics -- eat right, sleep right, exercise, and wash your hands. I work in a pretty high-risk profession, and I rarely get sick because I do those things.”
Finally, it is prevention that holds the key. Our experts all agree on a flu shot to be essential and advised staying in the best possible health throughout the whole year.
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