How to protect your household from the flu virus

Posted on 28 Jan 2020
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By Vigneswar Rajasurian

The Wuhan virus, otherwise known as the coronavirus, continues to spread across the globe after killing hundreds and infecting thousands. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the coronavirus is from a family of flu viruses that includes the common cold, and viruses like the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

As the number of infected continues to rise, the possibility exists of the Wuhan virus transitioning into a global epidemic similar to SARS and Ebola in the past. With that in mind, it’s best to take precautions to keep you and your family safe. Here are some tips on how you can protect your home from a virus outbreak.

Wear masks and gloves outdoors

Replace your masks after a few wearings for hygiene purposes. The green/blue water repellant layer of the mask should face outwards.

Replace your masks after each wearing for hygiene purposes. The green/blue water repellant layer of the mask should face outwards.

When leaving home, wear masks and latex gloves especially if using public transportation. If you’d like to omit using gloves, then sanitise your hands after touching commonly held surfaces.

Avoid touching your face and eyes at all costs until you have cleaned your hands thoroughly. Face masks deteriorate and become more unhygienic as a layer of bacteria forms on its inner layer with each wearing so replace them after each use. Reports show countries like Hong Kong and Japan are running out of face masks and gloves as people brace for the virus, so it would be prudent to start buying an ample supply now.

Stock up on groceries

Amass food with long expiration dates.

Amass food with long expiration dates.

At the initial stages of a virus outbreak, people are advised to avoid public spaces where possible. As the virus outbreak becomes more severe, governments could place a quarantine and curfews to help contain the spread of the virus - which in turn can affect business operations and supplies at local supermarkets.

Hence, it would be prudent to stock up on grocery supplies at home. It is generally recommended to have sufficient supplies for at least a week or two. Canned goods and dried foods tend to last longer and are easier to store than perishables. Ensure food is cooked thoroughly. With reports of people collapsing in public spaces at Wuhan, the last thing you would want to do is grocery shopping amid a flu epidemic.

Avoid sharing

Avoid sharing and ensure each dish has its own utensil to prevent infection.

Avoid sharing and ensure each dish has its own utensil to prevent infection.

It may be common practice to share food, utensils, towels and clothing with loved ones. However, in the midst of a virus outbreak - sharing isn’t caring, so avoid sharing food and belongings. Ensure each person has their own set of towels and linen which are washed regularly.

For the time being, it is also best to avoid eating out where possible as the cleanliness of utensils at restaurants can be questionable. If you can’t avoid it, then bring your own utensils or sanitise the restaurant’s utensils with sanitizing wet wipes.

Disinfect commonly held surfaces regularly

Keyboards, laptops, phones, tv remotes and other handheld devices should also be disinfected to prevent the virus from spreading.

Keyboards, laptops, phones, tv remotes and other handheld devices should also be disinfected to prevent the virus from spreading.

To keep the flu virus at bay, clean your home regularly with anti-microbial cleaning solutions that can kill bacteria, germs and viruses. Disinfect commonly held surfaces such as doorknobs, staircase bannisters, tables and chairs.

Isolate sick family members

Separate an ill family member from others in the household.

Separate an ill family member from others in the household.

If despite your best efforts, a family member has fallen ill - then seek treatment and isolate the family member in a separate room along with their belongings. Wear tight masks as you monitor the family member’s situation and assume that every surface or belonging used may contain traces of the virus thus should be disinfected in regular intervals. Wash infected clothing and linen with bleach and dry at high heat if possible.

How to protect your household from the flu virus


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