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Dr. Mallika’s Top 10 Ways to Avoid Catching a Cold or Flu
Jan 27th, 2014 Headlines

1. Avoid touching your nose, purchase eyes or mouth

This is one of the most common way germs are spread. They get onto your fingers and then you inadvertently touch your fingers to your eyes or nose or mouth and viola! The virus has now entered your body. So before you touch your face (which we do an average of 16 times an hour), page wash your hands.

2. Push the elevator button with your knuckle

Imagine how many people touch an elevator button in an office building, hospital, or shopping mall every day. And how many of those have a runny nose or cough? Cold viruses can last for hours to days on hard surfaces. So instead of getting those germs on the tip of your finger, which you may then promptly use to rub your eye, try pushing the buttons with a knuckle instead.

3. Clean your work space with disinfectant wipes 

If you share a desk with someone else, before you get to work, sanitize your keyboard, telephone, computer mouse and any other objects that could harbor germs from other employees.

4. Be wary of the common coffee pot at work 

The handle of the office coffee pot is reportedly one of the germ-iest objects at work, so wash your hands after pouring yourself a cup of brew.

5. Sanitize after blowing your kid’s nose

Parents of young kids, like myself, are constantly wiping or blowing their children’s noses this time of year, but that’s a surefire way to get yourself sick. Toss out the dirty tissues, and then quickly wash your hands so you don’t end up with a runny nose, too.

6. Disinfect your cell phone 

Eighty percent of phones in households with sick children are contaminated. That includes cell phones. Don’t forget to wipe of your landline and your cell phone on a regular basis.

7. Wipe off that remote control 

Whether in the comfort of your own home or in a hotel room, remote controls can harbor germs and rarely get cleaned. One of the first things I do when I enter a hotel room is wipe off the remote.

8. Don’t forget the shopping cart handle

Dozens of people have used that same cart you are now pushing down the aisle, and it’s a good bet that some of them have the sniffles or a hacking cough. Some grocery stores are kind enough to provide disinfectant wipes at the entrance, but if not, don’t forget to wipe it off yourself or use hand sanitizer after use.

9. Get plenty of sleep, eat balanced meals, and exercise

If you want your immune system to be in tip-top shape to ward off illness, you have to take care of yourself. This means eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, sleeping 7 to 9 hours a night, and exercising regularly. That’s just the way it is.

10. Get a flu shot

Yes, I know everyone says this, but it’s true, so I have to mention it. It’s your best defense against one of the most dangerous viruses circulating this time of year, influenza. Influenza viruses kill thousands of people in the U.S. every year, including healthy adults and kids. And it’s not too late.

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