Updated April 28, 2021. Welcome to part 3 of breaking the chain of infection in preventing Cold and Flu. Last week I discussed the Reservoir. Today is the Portal of Exit. Since I am discussing Cold and Flu I will only discuss Portal of Exit as it pertains to that topic.
The Portal of Exit is the method by which the germs leave the Reservoir. So, for example, coughing and sneezing. In a medical facility, there are clear protocols to break this part of the chain of infection. But, what about at home or in the community? Of course, handwashing is always the #1 way to prevent Cold and Flu from spreading. Carrying hand sanitizer for in-between hand washing is a great way to reduce the spread of germs. Covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing. If coughing or sneezing into a tissue, the tissue should be disposed of immediately. Good hand-washing after sneezing or coughing. This seems like it could be an all-day process if you have a Cold or the Flu, but it is super important in preventing the spread of germs. Again, hand-sanitizer could be used, but hand-washing should occur every 3rd application of hand-sanitizer use. If you use a hanky, instead of tissues, be sure and keep it contained to yourself, and wash hands immediately after using it. Wash it daily when cold or Flu symptoms are present. Try to stay home, or away from people as much as possible, when you have symptoms. If you can medically do so safely, try an OTC medicine to control cough and secretions. You should always ask the advice of your doctor if you have pre-existing medical conditions or contraindications for taking such medications. If you have HTN, or CKD these medications can be particularly dangerous. If you research the topic and ask your doctor, Claritin and Benadryl may be OK for these conditions. Flu shots may be advised for people with Chronic Conditions.
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