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Don’t want to get sick this winter? Pandemic health habits to be maintained in the long run Health & wellness

We have been in the Covid-19 pandemic for two and a half years and it seems that other viruses are coming to light.

Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during childhood and adolescence in northern Queensland and northern Queensland. flu cases soarand the outbreak of monkey pox in Australia (though experts say it is unlikely to take off).

The good news is that continuing some of the health and hygiene habits adopted because of Covid will also reduce the risk of developing other diseases, experts say.

Be careful in your hands

Studies have shown that the number of people who soaped their hands after a trip to the toilet was low before the pandemic: about one in four worldwideand one in two in areas with good access to hand washing facilities.

This led to many (fruitless) fingerprints early in the pandemic, with a flood of public messages and awkward celebrity videos stressing the importance of hand washing well with soap and running water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer if you can not reach a tap.

Dr Kerry Hancock, an Adelaide-based doctor with a keen interest in respiratory medicine, says that while Sars-CoV-2 is now known to spread mainly through the air, hand hygiene is the “cornerstone” of preventing infections – and a simple way to limit the transmission of other viruses and bacteria.

Although our passion for hand washing may have waned since the early days of the pandemic, it is still the cornerstone of infection prevention, for you and others. Photo: Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

“It’s so easy to do, keep washing or disinfecting our hands before eating or touching things… but I jokingly believe that people are not as fanatical about it as they were six months ago, at the height [of Covid cases] in South Australia “.

Holly Seale, an associate professor of infectious disease perceptions and behaviors at the University of New South Wales, notes that most people are taught hygiene from an early age as part of protecting themselves – but their hygiene hands is bidirectional.

Making sure your hands are clean before a trip to the store or an elevator ride is “definitely to protect other people.”

Habit to ditch: gloves
However, it is not necessary to wear gloves to protect against germs on surfaces such as supermarket carts, says Seale.

“People who wear gloves are less likely to wash their hands and may be at increased risk because they believe their hands are clean.”

Regular piercings

Seale recommends that everyone over the age of six months take it flu vaccinewhich in 2022 is protective against four executives.

In 2021, Australia recorded zero deaths from the flu, with federal health data from January to early November counting only 598 confirmed cases.

In contrast, three people have died from the flu this year to date, and more than It has been caught by 47,860 people. “We’ve had some years where the flu didn’t really exist and there are definitely concerns that people have lower levels of protection,” Seale said.

The federal government is already paying the bill for a flu vaccine for those in High Riskbut the piercing has become temporarily free to the general population by all state governments – so everywhere except Northern Territory and the ACT – at the time of writing.

Seale calls this “a great initiative” and an initiative that could “really get people to consider flu vaccination as part of their routine.” “Once you receive it once, you are more likely to come back and get it again.”

Maybe it’s worth doing the piercing in the long run, Seale adds. Along with the flu vaccine, Hancock urges everyone to be aware of the flu vaccine whooping cough (pertussis), a “bad disease” that breaks out in Australia every few years.

Staying home when you are sick (and mascara when you can not)

One of the great lessons of Covid-19 was its importance unwell people away from work and social eventssays Associate Professor Sheena Sullivan, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Doherty Institute.

He hopes employers will set an example, which could mean helping staff work from home if they are well enough, or overcoming cultural barriers to using sick leave – such as the fear of “disappointing the team”. .

But the occasional workforce and areas where people can not work from home continue to pose a “real risk” of disease control and must be addressed by the government, Sullivan says.

“It became clear early in the pandemic that many people working with some of the most vulnerable in our communities are part of this large workforce who have no sick leave rights and no incentive to take leave; including people working in care for the elderly and the disabled, as well as other basic services, such as meat packaging ‘.

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Sullivan hopes that when people have to go outside while they have respiratory symptoms, there will be a long-term shift towards wearing masks of kindness to others.

“I work with people who understand viruses very well, so it’s an unusual environment – but there are people who, if they know someone in their family is not well or has symptoms themselves, start wearing an N95 while at work.”

Seale recommends that employers provide free surgical masks or respirators in case staff get stuck from recent respiratory symptoms while at work.

Hancock says that “the best mask is an N95 respirator, the application has been tested and tested, and it is worn with the straps fastened on top. However, the best compromise for the public is a surgical mask to prevent transmission to others. “

Cleaning the air

“We know that, especially in aerosol-borne diseases, ventilation is critical“, Says Hancock.

The Ventilation “book” of the World Health Organization has airflow assessment tips for building managers as well as people caring for a Covid-19 patient at home, but Hancock encourages people to think about social settings as well.

A man opening a window in the house
Natural ventilation, such as opening a window, can help with airflow, especially in homes. Photo: DragonImages / Getty Images / iStockphoto

“A lot of cafes and businesses have modified their buildings – they may have torn down a wall to have more windows open. I would really choose where to go, for example, not to sit down to eat in a busy place with poor ventilation.”

Trench change: obstacles
While good ventilation is vital, there are concerns about plastic barriers, like those used in many retail funds, they block ventilation and provide a false sense of security, Hancock says.

“If you are on the supermarket counter and you are going to cough, it is better to wear a mask to protect the cash register. Otherwise, they will be protected from droplets [by the barrier] but… not from the tiny aerosols, which rise into the air and are inhaled from the other side “.

Having a plan

The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of people with chronic conditions a plan to follow if their health deterioratessays Hancock.

“My asthma patients were much more attached to their preventive medication. They really got the message that if your asthma is under control and a virus is coming – it does not matter if it is Sars-Cov-2 or rhinovirus [the main cause of the common cold]you are less likely to get upset.

“It is more difficult for people with other lung conditions, such as bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to control their disease; but all patients with chronic lung disease should have written action plans to know how to they recognize if it is getting worse, if they need to increase their medication or start another medication, if there is a hotline they can call or when to call an ambulance. “

Don’t want to get sick this winter? Pandemic health habits to be maintained in the long run Health & wellness

Source link Don’t want to get sick this winter? Pandemic health habits to be maintained in the long run Health & wellness

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