News Friday November 30, 2012

Want to Avoid Flu? Don’t Touch Your Face

It’s cold and flu season again, with many of us already having to deal with sneezes and sniffles, however researchers are saying we can reduce our risk of falling ill by avoiding touching our faces.

Apart from vaccines there isn’t much that can be done to avoid flu, apart from avoiding exposure to the virus. Flus and cold viruses are usually airborne, which means that they can be breathed in and affect the respiratory tract, but they can also spread by touching infected surfaces. Researchers from the National Institute of Health in Bethesda Maryland found that people touched objects an average of 3.3 times every hour and their faces 3.6 times an hour, which makes the likelihood of germs spreading in this way very high.

Commenting on the research, study leader Dr Alonso said that people should be made aware of the fact that they should avoid touching their faces and should increase the amount of time they wash their hands. However, he also advised that there is no need to be in a constant state of awareness as most people with healthy immune systems should have sufficient protection.

There is always controversy surrounding flu vaccines, but they are still recommended to those who are most likely to develop complications as a result of influenza. The elderly and those with weakened immune systems, among others, are always advised to take extra precautions against flu and colds.

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