Ways to Avoid Catching Colds and Flu this Season

November 2011

Autumn weather marks the beginning of cool air, colorful foliage, and the cold and flu season.

According to the American Journal of Medicine, the common cold leads to 75 million to 100 million physician visits annually.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 5 to 20 percent of Americans are infected with the flu virus each year, about 200,000 are hospitalized due to complications from the flu, and more than 3,000 Americans die from flu-related causes each year.

Keep your family healthy and reduce the risk of catching a cold or the flu by implementing simple hygiene practices.

The CDC says keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid spreading germs around.  Wash your hands after sneezing, coughing and using the restroom.  Proper hand washing using warm soap and water should take about 20 seconds.  

Covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing can also help against the spread of germs.  Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hand because germs can spread quickly this way.  Instead, cough or sneeze into your arm, firmly pressing your nose and mouth against your sleeve.  This will stop germs form escaping. 

People can get the flu as early as October or as late as May so the CDC recommends getting vaccinated as early as possible.  The flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that are the most common for the season.  It takes about two weeks after the vaccination for your body to develop antibodies against the flu that will protect you throughout the season.

Keeping your home clean is another place where you can stop the spread of germs that cause cold and flu viruses.  Since cold and flu viruses are spread by hands, these illnesses can also be transferred to surfaces as well. 

 The CDC states that people touch around 300 different surfaces every 30 minutes.  Some of these viruses can live up to eight hours or longer on areas like doorknobs, computer keyboards, phones, and remotes.  Prevent the spread of germs by wiping down surfaces every day. 

For a natural disinfectant, fill a bucket with 1/2 gallon hot water and 1/4 cup Borax.  Mix well.  Use this solution to disinfect floors, countertops, toilets, bathtubs, baseboards, and walls.

To create a natural disinfectant spray, add 4 to 8 drops of essential oil to 1 cup distilled water in a spray bottle.  Cedar wood, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, patchouli, and tea tree oil have anti-fungal properties.  Spray throughout the rooms in your home.

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs!

For more information on colds, flu, proper hygiene tips and cleaning with natural disinfectants, please log on to blog.maidbrigade.com.  For more information on green cleaning, please log on to maidbrigade.com.     

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