Stop the spread of germs

Tips from the UHSpress staff to prevent the spread of germs and stay healthy

Sav

The coronavirus expanded to 26 cases in Florida and the state government is preparing for further spread during this climate of high-stress. Sophomore Davianni Serrano went to the hospital with her mother with a bad case of the flu. When Serrano got there, she was surprised by the number of people wearing face masks. As she checked in with the receptionist, they went through a process of deciding whether she should be quarantined because of her symptoms, but because she hadn’t been exposed to anyone traveling from Italy, Iran, or China it was decided she would be fine. While being examined, however, doctors and nurses did take precautions while testing for a variety of illnesses eventually concluding she had the flu. Serrano returned home that day to get some much-needed rest. This Corona scare is becoming more common in Florida as new cases are reported each day, and people begin to jump to conclusions.  

The Coronavirus (officially referred to as COVID-19) is a new illness with the first cases reported in late 2019. COVID-19 is part of the Coronavirus family which is also the virus family responsible for the common cold alongside other illnesses such as MERS and SARS. The symptoms also resemble the common cold and the flu making it difficult to identify without testing and it also spreads with ease through physical contact and respiratory droplets (coughing and sneezing). While not a major risk to those with healthy immune symptoms, patients with compromised immune systems or the elderly are at considerable risk. Volusia County Schools is taking precautions to help combat the spread of the illness including increasing sanitary efforts on campuses and teachers are taking initiative providing hand sanitizer for the students. 

If you want to know how to prevent the spread of germs and stay healthy, here are some tips you should consider:

Preventing the spread of germs

Be aware of what you touch

We are constantly touching contaminated surfaces. Simple tasks like sitting at a desk or turning door knobs could be COVID-19 contaminated areas. The pathogens can be picked up on your hands and can be brought into your body through mucous membranes of your body such as your eyes, nose, and mouth. In this case, touching the face is often a habit and the best way to avoid catching the virus would be to not touch your face.  You should regularly wash your hands and try to touch your face less.  

Clean hands

Washing your hands regularly removes dirt, oil, and other dangerous agents from the skin. Hand sanitizer disinfects bacteria and viruses, however, it does not remove any dirt or oil. 

https://www.popsci.com/story/health/hand-sanitizer-soap-coronavirus/

Cover your mouth

https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/09/how-touching-your-face-can-spread-viruses-and-why-youre-so-bad-at-avoiding-it/ 

The virus is mostly caught by the inhalation of the single droplets of the virus. The droplets are often spread by sneezes and coughs so it’s essential to cover your mouth when doing any of these actions to avoid the spread of anything being spread. These droplets could also land on surfaces which could also lead to people picking up the virus by touching the surface then touching their face. Simply covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing is the best solution, maybe even wearing a mask, so no potential virus gets out. 

Use tissues

Use tissues whenever you cough or sneeze helps keep bacteria and germs contained. Afterward, throw away your tissue and wash or sanitize your hands. Keeping used tissues on a desk or in your hand spreads more germs to others. 

https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/7110/

Be germ conscious

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

Be considerate of your safety and the safety of others. Avoid going out, and when you do go out avoid large crowds and public transportation limit your contact with people. Be sure to make your doctor aware you are sick and take steps like covering your mouth or wearing a mask. This will also put less worry to the public. 

Staying clean during travel

Airports and airplanes are filled with germs. Using hand sanitizer before and after security, baggage claim, and touching a seat is a must. It can be up to 100 times easier to catch a cold at an airport than in an everyday environment. 

http://premierurgentcarela.com/patient-resources/education/8-tips-for-staying-healthy-and-avoiding-germs-at-the-airport/

Sharing drinks: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sharing-drinks-healthy_b_3241147 

https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/how-to-politely-decline-sharing-food-and-drinks-during-flu-season

Sharing saliva is almost impossible to avoid when sharing a drink or food and can lead any disease, virus or sickness into your body transmitted via saliva. Some may find it impolite to decline other’s gestures, but by trying to softly decline the food or drink offered could let you off the hook. If someone asks to partake of your own food, you could kindly give them the reasons you do not like to share your personal food and drinks with others especially during a time sickness are easily spread.

Theme parks/tourist attractions 

With tourists coming to Florida from all around the world to visit attractions, theme parks such as Disney are increasing sanitation. Theme parks are making sure to clean the areas more often and increase the number of hand sanitizing stations.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wftv.com/news/local/orange-county/central-florida-theme-parks-keep-watch-coronavirus-spring-breakers-arrive/KBAJ3XZSXBESZN57VFZ4XUMBKE/%3foutputType=amp

Money

 Money is passed through many different people, areas, and surfaces. Germs cling to the money’s surface which can move to a person’s surface once touched. Microorganisms on money’s surface can range from various bacteria from the body to various viruses- such as the COVID-19.

w.cnn.com/2020/03/07/tech/mobile-payments-coronavirus/index.html 

Disinfecting phones

Phones are one of the dirtiest items we touch every day. A recent study has shown that a typical high school student’s phone has ten times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Cleaning your smartphone at least once a day and washing your hands frequently will help lessen the spread of bacteria.

https://www.health.com/cold-flu-sinus/disinfect-your-phone-cold-flu-season

Classrooms cleanliness

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html 

https://www.uab.edu/news/health/item/10159-the-right-way-to-disinfect-classrooms-homes-to-kill-the-flu-virus 

It is recommended to close off areas used by those who are sick then begin cleaning and disinfecting the areas. Students and teachers should be aware of keeping their own classrooms clean by keeping tissues, hand sanitizers, trash cans and wipes in the open for anyone to disinfect any area often used. Desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards and mouses, hand items and faucet handles are the most commonly touched surfaces that should often be disinfected. Once you disinfect the area it is most important to correctly dispose of your waste to avoid anything being spread. 

Masks

Medical experts are urging the public to stop buying face masks due to them not being an effective way to protect yourself from the coronavirus. Surgical masks do not have a tight seal around the face, which would not stop people from inhaling airborne particles. According to the CDC, surgical masks are only recommended for those who already show symptoms of coronavirus.

https://time.com/5794729/coronavirus-face-masks/

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/02/coronavirus-do-face-masks-work-and-how-to-stop-it-from-spreading.html

Things you should carry on hand

Hand Sanitizer

 Germs are often spread through hand to mouth or hand to face and can often be prevented. A great way to stop this spreading of germs is to always keep hand sanitizer near you. Hand sanitizer can kill 99.9% of germs and are easy to have on hand. For example, Bath & Body Works travel hand sanitizer even comes with cases to allow you to hook the hand sanitizer on backpacks, lunchboxes, purses, etc. You should use hand sanitizer after touching any surface or material, but it should be done especially before eating or having any interaction with your face. 

Water 

 Water does more than hydrate you on a hot day. Water strengthens the immune system to fight off those harmful germs and viruses. Not only does it strengthen the immune system, but it also flushes systems and washes out toxins, which can be very helpful when you are sick. It is beneficial to keep water on hand when you are preventing illnesses or are trying to recover from being sick. It is easy to carry around water because there are small water bottles, bottles with clips, and even collapsible water bottles. Water is usually free at food locations, and water fountains and refill stations are common in public areas. 

Disinfectant Wipes

Small and skinny packages of disinfectant wipes are very easy to find and very easy to carry around, they can even fit in your back pocket! It may be an alternative to hand sanitizer but it is more effective to carry around both to prevent the spreading of illnesses. Clorox and Lysol both are major brands that have created travel-size Disinfectant Wipes, which should be used to clean off surfaces and objects that are frequently touched. Places that should be wiped down before using at school are computer keyboards, whiteboard markers, and desks are just to name a few. 

Cleaning Spray

It may seem unnecessary or irrational, but keeping cleaning spray on you can be very helpful. I am not saying you should keep a big bottle of bleach spray on you at all times, but the travel-size Lysol spray would help fight off germs. The spray should be used on anything you tend to touch a lot or is touched a lot by others.  

Tips for staying healthy

It may seem difficult to stay healthy because of the rapid spread of germs going around. You may feel perfectly healthy one day, but then the next day, feel so sick that you can not get out of bed. Staying healthy is not just a job for our immune systems. The average person can do a lot to keep themselves healthy. Staying healthy is important to protect both yourself and the people around you. To stay healthy you should follow these tips below.

Diet and beneficial vitamin intake

Staying healthy is not just about preventing harmful germs from entering your body. Your diet, sleep, and hygiene all impact the body’s ability to stay healthy. It is unappealing, but getting a proper diet is a key part of staying healthy. Eating a lot of junk food, and alcohol will make you feel bad in the long run, and increase your chances of getting sick. To help maintain good health, eat dark green, red, and orange vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium, which is important for bone health. Not getting enough of this vitamin can increase your chance of getting sick. Magnesium is best known for being important to bone health and energy production. Flintstone Vitamins can also help with bone development and maintenance with calcium and vitamin and eye sight with Vitamin A.

Wellness Shots

Like fancy juices, health-boosting power shots deliver a quick dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, but in a more concentrated dose. You can prepare these wellness shots in a juicer the night before and store them in a pitcher in the fridge. These shots are lemony with a powerful kick from ginger and cayenne. Ginger’s spicy goodness contains anti-inflammatory properties that help with circulation, aid in digestion by soothing the stomach and support glowing skin and circulation.

Sleep intake

Your sleep intake also contributes to how healthy you can stay to prevent getting sick. Staying consistent with a sleep schedule and limiting screen usage before bed can always help the stability of your physical health. Teenagers need eight to ten hours of sleep to function at their best.