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Fight the festive bugs

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By Fiona Reid
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Fight the festive bugs

'TIS the season to be jolly, but 'tis also the season for sneezes and sniffles unfortunately.

To help you stay well over the festive period, the public health team at NHS Dumfries and Galloway have released some top tips:
1. Get your flu jag: The annual flu vaccine is one of the best ways to avoid getting flu and spreading it to others. It can halve your chances of getting flu. The vaccine is available for children up to 11 years, people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and people over 65.

2. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze: When you cough or sneeze, you can leave millions of germs on surfaces all around you. The best thing to do is cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue. If you don’t have one to hand, try to cover up with the inside of your elbow. This will reduce the chance of you passing on the bug to the people around you.

3. Wash your hands regularly: This can reduce your risk of all sorts of nasties, from colds and flus to the dreaded norovirus – the winter vomiting bug. It also limits the chance of you transferring bugs from surfaces to your mouth, nose or eyes. It’s best to use soap and water where possible – some bugs aren’t killed by alcohol gels.

4. Stay at home when you are unwell: If you do become sick, please stay away from work or school until 48 hours after your symptoms have cleared. This can stop bugs like norovirus from spreading and can reduce the number of people who become unwell.

5. Cook your meals thoroughly: Make sure any meat is properly defrosted before cooking, keep uncooked meat separate from other food and don’t wash your turkey before cooking. This can splash germs all over the kitchen.

6. Try to keep a healthy lifestyle: The first line of defence against any infection is a healthy immune system. To get one of these, it’s basically the same advice as always. Less of the alcohol and tobacco and more of the fruit and veg. If you can keep active too and make sure to get enough quality sleep, you’re well on your way to helping your body fight off whatever germs are thrown at you.

Ill woman blowing nose

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