It’s Winter season again, which means flu season will be hanging around like a dark cloud for the next few months. We all want to avoid getting a cold or flu, but sometimes it’s inevitable—like when your significant other is sniffling and red-cheeked and you have no choice but to share a bed.
We asked a Doctor , to break down all the facts. Here, she explains how we contract a cold or flu in the first place, how to tell the difference between the two, and what we can do to avoid germs altogether.
“The flu is very contagious a day before and five to seven days after its onset”, which can be up to two weeks. The symptoms are as follows:
- Aches and pains
- High fever
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
- Sore throat
Now, what do you do if your partner is sick? No kissing for weeks?!
“Until all of your symptoms are gone, kissing on the mouth is one of the fastest ways to catch a cold. It’s best to hold off for at least a few days while your partner is sick.” Take this time as an opportunity to get a little creative and try out the other ways to show your partner affection. Write a love note, cook a favorite meal, or fill the Netflix queue with your partner’s favorite shows. Sweet. We should always remember to keeping ourselves safe from the germs…
How can we avoid germs when our partner or coworker is sick?
“Wash your hands well. The most important measure for preventing illness and flu is frequent hand washing. Hand washing by rubbing the hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds helps to slough germs off the skin.
Next, “Hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes kill 99.9 percent of germs that cause illness. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or gym bag and use it when you can’t wash with soap and water. Germs live on surfaces too and spread to humans through skin contact. Anything that you touch frequently can be a threat. Pull out the disinfectant wipes for any high-use surfaces—like your desk, keyboard, remote or phone.”
Then, “Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose. These are direct entry points for germs. Likewise, the person who is sick, “Should be conscientious of touching your eyes, nose and mouth, which will contaminate your hands. Most adults touch their face about 16 times a day, and children do so a lot more often, which increases the spread of germs.”
Finally, “Bath towels, dishes and cups are all things that you should avoid sharing with your sick partner. Avoid eating off of the same plate and turn your dishwasher to the high heat or sanitize setting. Keep the sheets clean by washing your sheets and pillowcases often, let fresh air into the room to help keep the germs from staying stagnant, and keep tissues and a trashcan close by rather than letting dirty tissues pile up on the nightstand.”
Once your guy feels better, have him replace his toothbrush. In general, “You should replace your toothbrush often, which can be a major carrier of germs,”