How to Stop Spreading Flu and Cold Germs at Home

For many families, one person coming down with a cold or flu means that everyone in the house will, too—and that means missed days at school and work.

Although there are over-the-counter and prescription medications for these viruses, the best way to reduce their impact on your family is to prevent infection in the first place. That includes getting flu shots and washing your hands.

Keep  these facts and tips in mind to help control airborne viruses in your home.

How Long Do Cold and Flu Droplets Stay in the Air?

According to a 2018 study, infectious flu droplets can remain in the air for at least one hour.

Cold and flu viruses can spread through the air via respiratory secretions from infected people. These virus particles most commonly spread through the air when infected people sneeze or cough. This is why it’s so important to sneeze or cough into tissues or your elbow and completely cover your mouth and nose in the process.

Can Cold Weather Make You Sick?

Colds and the flu are viruses, and you don’t catch a virus from being in cold weather. However, colder temperatures mean that you’re more likely to spend time indoors around others, and viruses can easily spread from person to person when you’re in close contact.

While cold temperatures don’t cause colds or the flu, cold homes can be dangerous for older adults. According to the National Institute on Aging, older adults not only lose body heat faster than young people, but they also are less aware of when they’re getting cold. The combination of these factors can increase the risk of hypothermia, which occurs when a person’s body temperature becomes too low.

People who develop hypothermia may have an impaired immune system, which not only makes them more likely to contract a cold or flu, but it also makes those infections more severe.

Should I Get a COVID-19 Test if I Have a Cold or the Flu?

If you have a fever or cough, both common symptoms of some colds and the flu, there’s a chance you may have COVID-19. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should get tested. Some people may even have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Getting tested can help you determine which virus you’re battling and the appropriate treatment for it.

Whether you’ve just started experiencing cold or flu symptoms, or you’ve been sick for a few days and need treatment, River’s Edge Urgent Care can help. We treat all symptoms of colds and flus, and we can help you and your family feel better and get back to your busy lives.

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