Practise good hygiene

September 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Travel Tips

With good hygiene practices, you can avoid getting a viral or bacterial infection when on holiday overseas. LAVIINIA DHANAGUNAN looks at simple steps travellers can observe to avoid getting the bug

Washing hands thoroughly can help stop germs from spreading

Washing hands thoroughly can help stop germs from spreading

IT’S amazing how many people these days don’t have good hygiene habits. Walk around in the towns and cities and you often find dried spit and rubbish on sidewalks. And if you’re really unlucky, the person near you will suddenly exhale loud enough to burst your ear drum. You might even get some of that sneeze on you. Quick, get a tissue and wipe it off. You never know if that’s a freak sneeze or something more sinister.

Here are some good hygiene practices to observe, especially if you’re on holiday:

Wash Your Hands Clean your hands with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Lather well and count slowly to 10 before you wash it off with water. Or you could start singing (quietly) “Happy Birthday” to yourself from the moment you squeeze the soap from the dispenser. If you haven’t done this, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because that’s how germs spread. If you have it, an alcohol-based hand cleaner is also quite effective.

Cough Etiquette

Believe it or not, there is a proper, polite way to cough or sneeze. If you think you’re coming down with a cold or you feel a tickle in your throat, get your tissue ready. Don’t cough or sneeze on anyone.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw it away immediately. Don’t reuse tissue more than twice. If you have, bin it.
Do Not Spit

Spitting is such an unhygienic habit but it’s as common as water here. Some say they do it to remove the phlegm from their throats but if that’s the case, please use a tissue and throw it away immediately afterwards. Swallowing is another option as the phlegm doesn’t re-enter the lungs. If you’re a notorious serial spitter, stop it!

Sick? Stay Home

Containment is the best thing to do if you feel lousy after a trip overseas. If you get sick, stay home from work for a couple of days after your symptoms start or until you’re sure you are fine. Remember to only see people you have to see (like your primary caregiver) to avoid passing them your ailment.

Vitamin Boost

Keep your immune system hale and hearty by getting the right hours of sleep, exercise, drink lots of water and eat food that’s rich in vitamins. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Ensure you are well-rested before a journey — stress and lack of sleep may increase your susceptibility to the virus. Continue to take vitamin supplements every morning during your holiday to maintain your body’s defence against virus.


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