Tips for Preventing Infections

Wash Your Hands: Everyone learned to do this as a kid, and for good reason. Depending on where they are and the type of pathogen involved, harmful microbes can stick around on surfaces for up to several months. Consequently, touching such surfaces makes it easy for germs to get into your body. In fact, hand-to-mouth and hand-to-hand germ transmission are responsible for countless infections every year. Washing your hands regularly eliminates many of these would-be invaders.

Cover Your Mouth: Covering your mouth isn’t just proper etiquette; it also helps to prevent the spread of disease. When a contagious person coughs, droplets are launched out of the body and towards the ground. As a result, people nearby can quickly catch the same disease. Alternatively, some illnesses spread due to particles that float through the air.

Be Smart When Preparing Food: Many people fall ill after ingesting contaminated food. An example of such an illness, food poisoning, can be caused by 250 different viruses, bacteria, toxins and other types of contaminants. So how can you protect yourself against such enemies? Proper refrigeration goes a long way toward keeping your food safe. Specifically, try to put food items into the refrigerator within two hours after preparing them.

Food contamination also frequently occurs on cutting boards. Some inexperienced chefs make the mistake of using the same board for raw meats and produce, without cleaning the board in between. This allows bacteria from the meat to wind up on vegetables, and by extension into an unfortunate diner’s stomach. Preventing this is easy; simply use one cutting board for produce, and another for meat.

Be Smart When Traveling: Many people list traveling as one of their favorite activities. While trips to exotic destinations can be quite enjoyable, they can easily be ruined by a bad bout of food poisoning. If you find yourself in an area with questionable water quality, bring enough bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth. Avoid eating raw fish, fruits and vegetables; instead, eat fish that has been properly cooked and fruits and veggies that have been peeled.

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