Whether we catch flu or corona depends on many factors, such as lack of sleep, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, psychological stress or poor hygiene. All of the above factors influence our immune system, which is responsible for fighting off pathogens such as viruses. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself from viruses.
Respiratory diseases such as corona or influenza are transmitted by tiny droplets containing viruses. Sick people spread the contaminated droplets when sneezing or coughing. Because viruses survive for some time on objects, surfaces and clothing, people can become infected via what is known as smear infection when they come into contact with it and then bring their hand to their eyes, nose or mouth. In the process, the viruses can enter the body through the mucous membranes. However, the risk of infection can be reduced with the following preventive measures.
Strengthen the immune system to defend against viruses
The human immune system fights off pathogens and eliminates germs that have entered the body, provided it is in a healthy balance. If you want to prevent flu or an infection with Corona, you should strengthen your immune system. Regular exercise, plenty of fresh air, adequate sleep, avoidance of stress and, above all, a balanced diet rich in minerals and vitamins will strengthen your immune system. Therefore, you should sleep at least 7 to 8 hours a day, exercise regularly, but also relax sufficiently. At the same time, plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as valuable vegetable oils and herbs should be on your menu so that the cells in your body and thus your immune system are sufficiently supplied with all necessary minerals and vitamins.
Many vitamins and minerals need each other to be metabolized well in the body, such as vitamin C, which improves the absorption of iron. Important trace elements and vitamins that contribute to normal immune system function include iron, zinc and selenium, as well as vitamins D and C. In autumn, winter and spring, when there are not so many fruits and vegetables available in markets and supermarkets, natural based supplements will also help you to balance your needs of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and trace elements).
Adhere to the AHA formula
The AHA formula should be familiar to everyone by now. Gradually expanded to the AHA+L+A formula:
A = distance
H = hygiene
A = Everyday life with mask
L = regular airing
A = App (Corona warning app)
Do not forget sneezing and coughing etiquette
Always maintain good sneezing and coughing etiquette as well. It is best to cough or sneeze into a disposable handkerchief and then throw it into a trash can with a lid. Always wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. If you do not have a handkerchief at hand, use the crook of your arm when coughing or sneezing and do not turn towards other people, but away from them.
Clean thoroughly in the household
In addition to strengthening your immune system and using the extended AHA formula, it is important to follow standard hygiene rules by cleaning your household thoroughly. Normally, common household cleaning agents containing surfactants are sufficient to prevent smear infection. Many viruses are sensitive to surfactants. This also includes the corona viruses.
Use separate cleaning cloths for the kitchen, toilet and bathroom. Don’t forget to include light switches and doorknobs and other hand-contact surfaces in your regular cleaning schedule. Be sure to regularly replace soiled wipes with clean ones and wash at 60°C. Mops and cleaning cloths should always dry well and quickly after use, as germs multiply particularly well in a damp environment.
Use disinfectant only if there is a risk
In addition, note that disinfectants do not substitute for cleaning. They do not remove dirt, but only disinfect. However, disinfection is not necessary for prevention in private households. If you would disinfect your household daily or even weekly, there is a risk that the viruses will become resistant to disinfection.
Disinfectants should only be used within one’s own four walls if, for example, a family member is ill with flu or corona.
Regular airing reduces risk
Aerosols accumulate quickly in closed indoor spaces and spread throughout the room. In small, poorly ventilated or unventilated rooms, the risk of transmission through aerosols is increased. Proper hygiene in the home therefore also includes regular ventilation (shock and cross-ventilation, ventilation technology), as this can reduce the risk of transmission ((see AHA formula).
Washing clothes properly
Bed linen, washcloths, underwear, towels, cleaning cloths and dishcloths should be washed at least at 60 °C. Some textiles from this category can also be washed at 90 °C. For normal outerwear, the washing temperatures indicated on the laundry label of the respective garment are sufficient.
For this, it is best to use a bleach-containing heavy-duty detergent or a hygienic rinser. The included bleach should bleach on the basis of oxygen.
Our Tip: 2 spoons of citric acid dissolved in water and a few drops of essential oil according to your preferences in the rinse cycle are sufficient if you want to smooth the fibers of your laundry and scent it a bit.
It is also very important to clean your washing machine regularly, so that no biofilm with microorganisms can form. Therefore, run your washing machine once a week at a minimum of 60 °C. To be on the safe side, you can also use the 90 °C wash cycle.
Can I use a UVC lamp in private areas to disinfect the air against viruses?
As already mentioned, disinfection of private households where healthy people live is not necessary. Regular hygienic cleaning with detergents containing surfactants is sufficient. If you still want to disinfect the air in your own home or if you are caring for a sick person in your household, it is also possible to use a UVC lamp. when using such a lamp, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as UVC radiation is as dangerous to humans as it is to viruses.