Knowing how viruses spread, it is understandable that the best way to prevent catching the flu or a cold is good hygiene:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Use a tissue if you are sneezing or coughing, and then discard the used tissue immediately
- Clean hard surfaces with a disinfectant
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
There are also lifestyle changes that can help you recover quickly from the flu or a cold:
- Drink plenty of fluids (6-8 glasses per day). Try drinking hot fluids to help with nasal and chest congestion.
- Humidify the air using a vaporizer (either cool mist or warm mist works). This will help relieve a sore throat or dry cough.
- Get enough rest. Fatigue can increase the duration of symptoms. Staying in bed will also avoid spreading the infection to others.
- Use saline drops or spray to loosen nasal congestion.
- Use non-medicated hard lozenges or candy to soothe a sore throat or cough.
- Gargle with salt water to relieve a dry throat.
- Stop or reduce smoking. People who smoke tend to get colds more often. Their colds also last longer and they cough more frequently.