As I was saying on the Gold Afternoon Show (Weekdays 2 to 5pm) on Gold90FM, here’s an elaboration of what rhinorrhea is and how NOT to get sick at the office.
Coined from Greek terms “rhin-” meaning “of the nose” and “-rhoia” meaning “discharge or flow”.
It’s a condition where your nasal cavity is filled with a significant amount of mucous fluid.
How did it get there in the first place?
Well, for starters you have to understand the basics of catching the common cold or flu.
Contrary to popular belief it’s less often that you get sick from touching a surface or object that has a virus on it, and then touching your own mouth, eyes or nose.
Instead, when you’re face to face with someone with a contagious illness, it’s the droplets from their mouth or nose ending up in yours that’s actually the root cause.
That’s really disgusting!
Anyway, most people know to wash their hands after shaking someone’s hand or using someone else’s keyboard or phone.
But you should also avoid close, prolonged contact with anyone who has a cold.
Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to a week after becoming sick.
Further, if you have a fever, please do the responsible thing – stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
So for all the reasons above, it’s best to avoid exposure and keep your distance.
Additionally, a yearly flu shot is your best defense against the flu.
Even an antiviral shot within the first 48 hours can dramatically mitigate the effects of flu.
Antibiotics, by the way, don’t work for colds. Colds are caused by viruses.
Speaking of which, rhinoviruses can live on your skin for up to 3 hours!
The contagious viruses can also survive up to 3 hours on objects such as telephones and stair railings.
So steer clear of places where multiple hands go i.e. door handles, printers, and elevator buttons.
And remember to wash up after touching shared books, stationery or power tools.
Keep in mind also that antibacterial soap is no more effective in killing germs than regular soap.
In fact, using antibacterial soaps may even lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the product’s antimicrobial agents making it tougher to kill those germs in the future.
Truth is, antibacterial products don’t even kill viruses.
The best solution?
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Better still, use those that state specifically that they’ll kill germs and help you fight the flu this season.
With that in mind, do consider what nature has to offer to help you combat these nasty viruses.
While Vitamin C may appear to abate the severity and duration of a cold, it’s not a proven antidote. As with the herbal supplement Echinacea and zinc.
On the contrary, honey has been shown to alleviate coughing and soothe a sore throat.
And there’s nothing like sipping on a warm mug of ginger or green tea to stimulate your immune system to fight off infections.
But having said and done all that, I don’t know why I’m still plagued by this stubborn, sickening virus.
I’ve seen Dr. A umpteen times and this is the fourth week I’m on medication (cetrizine/zyrtec, fedac + steroids nasal spray).
By right, according to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the flu season in Singapore is typically between December and February. With a second wave from May to July.
It’s already April…sigh!
Hopefully, I’ll be stronger in staving off the second cycle.