Last Updated on March 9, 2020
If an epidemic has taken place, it is easy for people to get scared, to think the very worsen and to try to think of dramatic ways to stay safe. However, what is really important is to remain calm, informed, and to engage in virus prevention as well as you can. We bring you a list of how to protect yourself from viruses. Read on to find out how to prevent virus infection.
1. Keep sick family members at home
If you or any of your loved ones are already sick or displaying signs of illness, the best virus protection is to simply stay inside. During the winter months, the cold weather will force people into enclosed spaces, making it easier for viruses to spread. If it’s a more severe case, people may even be quarantined or isolated to prevent the disease from spreading.
2. Medicate before symptoms occur
If you know the viral infection causes a constant cough or a constant runny nose, for example, start medicating yourself before the symptoms have a chance to occur.
You can discuss a prevention plan with your doctor where they will medicate you in order to treat symptoms before you even have them, which will prevent the risk of illness. Anti-histaminic is a great way to stop a runny nose, for example, and people who are already on medications for allergies can up their dose.
3. Keep regular used items sanitized
Direct contact with people who are showing visible symptoms of infection can get you sick as well, but make no mistakes – indirect contact through contaminated items can have the same effect.
If you have someone sick in your home or in your workplace, be sure to sanitize all the items that are frequently used and touched by everyone, like doorknobs, for example. Plus, keep hand sanitizer around at all times.
4. Cook meat and eggs properly
A lot of the food we eat every day contains a fair amount of poisonous bacteria, and we can get sick by simply touching it, let alone eating it. Meat, fish, eggs, and poultry are the most dangerous of them all, which is why you need to be sure to cook them properly. How to protect yourself? Cook the food at a temperature of at least 167°F (75°C) to kill all the bacteria.
5. Avoid contact with wild or farm animals
Farm animals and wild animals can pose danger to humans, and this risk increases during an epidemic. Zoonotic diseases (the diseases carried by animals that can be harmful to people) can spread through bites, touching, or simply by being in the same area as a contaminated animal.
Tips to stay healthy: avoid these animals at all costs, and if you really must be in touch with them, protect yourself with a mask, gloves, and disinfect your hands afterward.
6. Clean your towels immediately after use
We use towels to clean our wet hands, and we all know that damp environments are the preferred ones for germs and bacteria to breed.
This is particularly true when you are sick, which is why especially during these periods that there should be no cut back on laundry. If you use a towel, wash it immediately afterward and replace it with a clean one. This is applicable to all living spaces, kitchen or bathroom.
7. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is important in every single moment of your life, but if you are down with a sickness, chances are you will be more dehydrated than you realize, from the fever and everything.
It is crucial that you drink at least 8 cups of fluids per day – not necessarily water, you can drink tea or juice. Make sure to avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol or sugary beverages at all costs, since they all promote dehydration.
8. Make sure you have the supplies
If there is a virus outbreak in your area, there is also a chance that you won’t be able to leave your home, so it is always good to be prepared. Make sure to stock up in the essentials – food and water – and try to have enough to eat and drink for at least two weeks.
Canned food, boxed items and such are the best alternatives since they are easy to store. Also, don’t forget to have a stock of toilet paper, sanitary items, medical supplies, and dog food.
9. When in public, wear gloves
Hands are some of the easiest ways to spread germs around, so one of the first rules on how to prevent viruses to protect certain parts of your body.
When going out in public, wear gloves, but do not forget to wash your hands after you take them off. Also, be sure to choose a consistent material, since cheaper brands can be of poor quality, allowing bacteria to get through the material.
10. Be careful with facemasks
Facemasks can be a great way to protect yourself from infections, but this demands a proper use. People who already show signs of the disease are the ones that should really be wearing masks in order to avoid spreading it.
The facemasks should also be replaced after each use, and the people who are using them should clean their faces and hands properly.
Bonus: Stay informed
The only thing that will spread faster than the virus is wrongful information that will do nothing besides causing panic among the general public.
Look for information from reliable sources, like official government websites or health organizations. Don’t buy into everything you see online!