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There really is no time of year when illnesses of some sort are not prevalent but when the weather turns cold, germs seem to be everywhere you go. Luckily, there are some tried and true ways of keeping yourself healthy throughout the year so you can avoid getting an RVBP (Respiratory Virus and Bacteria Panel) infection. Aside from staying away from people you know are sick, you can practically keep germs to a minimum in your household. During years like this one, when the flu is on the rise and it seems like everyone is getting sick, you can reduce your risks by getting vaccinated, washing hands properly and living a healthy lifestyle. New viruses are constantly evolving and appearing which is why even if you have been sick lately, you will want to make sure you continue to prevent other infections. This is especially true if you have small children at home or have elderly family members that could be at risk if they become sick.

Washing Your Hands

It may seem so simple that there’s no way it could be effective but washing your hands frequently throughout the day can actually go a long way towards staying healthy. It is recommended that you wash your hands after using the bathroom, after changing a diaper, after handling raw meat, eggs, fish, etc., after handling dirty laundry or cleaning areas of your home like bathrooms or kitchens. The process is simple but you need to make sure you are doing it right in order to properly kill any germs that could be living on your hands. Warm water, soap, and vigorously scrubbing the fronts and backs of your hands for at least thirty seconds is effective. Make sure to dry your hand on a paper towel that you will dispose of. Reusing a towel or sharing a towel will still promote illness.

Don’t Share Personal Items

You love the people that you live with but there are certain items in a home that should not be shared as they can spread bacteria and viruses from one person to the next in a very short period of time. Make sure to never share things like toothbrushes, make up, utensils, cups and towels. It is a good idea to keep these items in a short rotation period. Wash drinking glasses frequently, get rid of toothbrushes after you have been sick and run a good thorough wash cycle on your dishwasher frequently with all of your commonly used kitchen items.

Cover Your Mouth

If more people would properly cover their mouth when they are at home and out in public, we would greatly reduce the incidence of illness being spread around. Many people cover their mouth using a closed fist or their hand. This actually doesn’t completely prevent the spray of saliva and germs. Your best bet is to cough into the interior of your elbow as this properly covers your mouth.

In addition to all of these great tips that you can utilize to help avoid getting an RVBP infection, you can also speak with a trusted medical professional about vaccinations. You may or may not be up to date on your current vaccinations and each year you have the option for getting a number of shots that can potentially prevent illness such as pneumonia or the flu, or at least keep symptoms to a minimum if you do get sick. Also, be sure to get enough sleep each night so your body is not run down and eating healthy goes a long way towards maintaining a healthy and well-functioning immune system.