Holidays are a great and often the only time the whole family spends together for an extended period without the distractions of work and school. Also it is also an opportunity for family bonding, communication, strengthening of relationships and create a long lasting memory.
However, being in close contact with others, and sharing food and drink, puts you at risk of catching the bacteria or viruses from someone who has it.
According to a study done in Australia, respiratory infection is the most common infectious disease that affects travellers, and thus, improving your knowledge of the risk factors associated with respiratory infections will help you to prevent these conditions in the first place.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, respiratory infection is a leading cause of visits to health professionals among travellers upon their return home. Furthermore, it was reported that respiratory infections occur in up to 20% of all travellers, making these conditions almost as common as traveller’s diarrhoea.
Upper respiratory infections are more common than lower respiratory infections. They may be caused by bacteria or viruses which are easily spread through coughing or sneezing.
While travelling increases the risks of getting respiratory infections, being in confined spaces such as malls, parks and shops, in close contact with people, especially those with coughs and colds, may also increase one’s risk of getting sick.
How are respiratory infections being spread?
Respiratory infections are infections that happen in the lungs, chest, sinuses, nose and throat and often caused by bacteria and viruses.
Chronic infections are those that occur repeatedly over time, especially in the holiday season or fall and winter seasons when people are spending more time together or in groups. The increased number of germs and people being in close contact with each other makes it easier for these bacteria and viruses to spread.
Frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid close contact with someone who has a respiratory infection.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth at all times.
If you're sick
Cover your mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing.
Wash your hands frequently, using soap or hand sanitizer.
Reduce contact with people.
A healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet and adequate sleep also play major roles in boosting the immune system.