Small kids turn your house into a raging plague-pit. When cold season begins, you’re forced to stem a torrent of runny noses on a round-the-clock basis. Your chances of escaping are slim.
Research from the University of Utah’s School of Medicine confirms just how hard it is to avoid infection. Their medics found that kids younger than five had at least one virus detected in their nasal mucus for 50 per cent of the year.
Another finding: the more kids you have, the more likely your risk of getting sick. Households with one child tested positive for some form of virus being present in the house about 18 weeks of the year. But families with more than four children tested positive about 45 weeks of the year. That’s 87 per cent of the time!
That’s why you need to get on the front-foot as the temperatures dip. Use the latest research to win the cold war or at least give yourself a fighting chance.
Your hands transmit germs, so keep them off your face. A study in the Journal of Occupational Health found that people who occasionally rub their eyes and nose are 41 per cent more likely to catch frequent upper-respiratory infections than those who refrained. Keep the chin-stroking, brow-mopping and nose-picking to a minimum.
Neck more Vitamin D
Stock up on the sunshine vitamin: Vitamin D boosts your immune system and encourages your body to fend off colds. Researchers at McMaster University found that taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 a week may slash your risk of upper-respiratory infection in half.
Let’s face it, you probably drink too much coffee already, so brew some green tea instead. The benefit is a magic ingredient called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which, according to a study from Essen University Hospital in Germany, can fight off influenza virus particles and disrupt the bacteria that cause pneumonia. Put the kettle on now.
Researchers at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan found that fresh ginger can help stop bronchitis or pneumonia by hampering the respiratory bug from attaching itself to your cells. Stick some ginger in your next stir-fry or grate some up in boiling water with a squeeze of lemon and a teaspoon of honey.
Hit the sweet spot
On second thoughts, add another spoonful honey to that ginger tea. A study in the journal Microbiology found that manuka honey will help to combat the bacteria that’s present in strep throat.
Get a flu jab
Fortify your defence and get a flu shot. This year, Australia faces a bumper flu season with three times as many people already diagnosed with the virus compared to 2018. Professor Brendan Murphy, the Chief Medical Officer for the Federal Government, recommends getting vaccinated from mid-April to help you develop immunity before the rates of flu start to climb. Winter is coming – be ready.