Shock fact: loads of us don’t wash our hands properly! It’s one of the easiest ways to stop spreading/catching all sorts of viruses and bugs. Here’s a refresher: use enough soap to cover hands back and front, and wash for as long as it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice. And don’t miss these common bug hideouts: fingertips, between fingers, around thumbs, under rings, watches, bracelets and under nails.
There are at least five types of pneumonia, which causes inflammation of the tissue in one or both lungs. Pneumonia affects around 0.5% to 1% of adults in the UK each year. And get this: one in four cases of pneumonia occurs in under-65s! Boots offers a vaccination service** to help protect against 13 common strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria that can cause it. If you’re over 65, you may be eligible to have it for free†. Oh, and know this: going to the dentist regularly may decrease your risk of pneumonia – by reducing bacteria in the mouth! Who knew?
A massive 685 million around the globe get norovirus each year! Nursing homes, hospitals, kids’ day-care centres and schools are common breeding grounds (blame the close proximity to others!). Here’s how to help fight back…
The dreaded vomiting bug is the perfect excuse for a Netflix binge! You need to wait after norovirus symptoms have passed (you’ll still be contagious) before going back to work, school, your GP†† or visiting anyone in hospital.
Dehydration is a risk (dry mouth/dark yellow urine are signs), so drink plenty of fluids to help prevent and treat dehydration due to diarrhoea: Boots Rehydration Treatment (6 sachets; always read the label).
Avoid rich food
When you’re trying to keep something down, make it plain: non-creamy soups, rice, pasta and bread.
There’s no cure – sorry! So you’ll need to let it run its course – usually a few days. Consider taking paracetamol if you have a high temperature, headache or aching limbs*.
Protect your pooch
Human norovirus may even infect our canine companions, according to research! So no snuggles with Patch until you’re feeling better!
Your risk of pneumonia may go up 2.5 times if you have low vit-D (one in five does). It won’t prevent or cure the illness, but it’s recommended for us in the UK to consider a daily vitamin D supplement in autumn and winter to protect our musculoskeletal health: BetterYou Dlux 1000 Daily Vitamin Oral Spray (15ml).
Did you know you can spread the cold sore virus before a blister even shows? It’s contagious from about six to 48 hours before a cold sore appears or until it’s completely healed. Signs you’re developing one? Itching, tingling, burning and/or pain at the outbreak site. At the first sign of symptoms, wash hands regularly, avoid touching your eyes (if the infection spreads, it could cause sight issues) and don’t kiss anyone or share cutlery. The same applies to your genitals (and anyone else’s you’re touching!).
An antiviral cream, such as Boots Antiviral Cold Sore Cream (2g), should be used at the tingle or blister stage of a cold sore to help promote healing. Contains aciclovir; always read the label.
Consider Bonjela Cool Mint Gel (15g), to help soothe pain and swelling due to cold sores. Always read the label.
Compeed Cold Sore Patch (15-pack), to help soothe, prevent spreading and encourage healing.
Are you aged 45+? Formulated for during and after the menopause, scientifically tested Arkopharma Laboratories Phyto Soya Night & Day*, £23 (60 capsules), is a highly concentrated soya-based food supplement. Two capsules a day are all you need!