How to fight against viruses

  • 2009-11-11
  • By Darja Kuznecova

RIGA - The flu season is underway and swine flu infections are already on the rise. Many people are in the fight against both seasonal and the H1N1 virus. The weather is cold and rainy. It expedites the spread of viruses. Here are several effective ways to guard against the flu, without the need for a vaccine or buying expensive medicines.

Wash Your Hands. Most flu viruses are spread by direct contact. So wash your hands often with soap and warm water. If no sink is available, rub your hands together very hard for a minute. Or rub an alcohol-based hand sanitizer onto your hands. It will kill some of the germs on your hands.
Don't cover your sneezes and coughs with your hands. Because germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, muffling coughs and sneezes with your hands results in passing along your germs to others. Use a paper handkerchief and throw it away. If you don't have a handkerchief, turn your head away from the people nearby.

Don't touch your face with dirty hands. Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, mouth and hands. That is how children pass colds on to their parents.
Drink plenty of liquids. Water flushes your system, washing out the poisons as it rehydrates your body.
Eat healthy and nutritious food. Foods like dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruit contain phyto-chemicals, which can improve your overall health and help to prevent flu. Eat more seasonal fruits, they contain more vitamins. Eat more nuts and dried fruits. If you live on the north side of the globe, where winter temperatures are often below -10 C, you should take cod-liver oil and vitamin C, at 1 gram per day.

Take a Sauna. In one 1989 study, it was found that people who steambathed twice a week got half as many colds as those who didn't. The reason is not clear, but it could be that in a sauna, it is too hot for the flu viruses to survive.

Get fresh air. Fresh air is important, especially during cold weather, when people otherwise stay indoors with its greater abundance of germs circulating around crowded rooms.
Go for fitness Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart, pumping larger quantities of blood; it makes you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood; it makes you sweat, once your body warms up. These exercises help increase the body's natural virus-killing cells.

Warning! Don't smoke or use alcohol if you are sick.