Our world is filled with many health scares. While many diseases are treatable, a few remain unresolved and are fatal. In Malaysia, we are currently dealing with outbreaks of VHF (Viral Haemorrhagic Fever) diseases like Dengue and Ebola. We also have to deal with, viral respiratory diseases like H1N1 (Swine Flu) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). In fact, H1N1 is a common contagious disease nowadays, as those infected with the virus are unaware, thinking they have the common cold. It is always advisable to err on the side of caution and visit a physician for a persistent fever – both low and high grade.
Most of us fail to consider that common colds, influenza, strep throats if left untreated can cause more damage than necessary to our physiology. Not only do these common problems render us ill and fatigued, they are highly contagious. These ailments may seem trivial and not serious to many, but are life threatening to those with impaired immune systems. Contagious disease pathogens range from bacterial, viral, fungal and protozoan (organism / parasite) based infections.
Common cold: produced through 110 viral agents – germs are spread by inhalation of airborne expelled mucous and by transfer from any surface.
Influenza: respiratory illness which includes symptoms of fever, fatigue, cough, runny nose, aching muscles and possibly stomach symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
For both the common cold and influenza, germ-laden droplets can survive outside the human body from a few minutes to 48 hours. They have been found to remain active longer on hard surfaces rather than soft surfaces. Of course, environmental factors also play a part in the germs lifespan i.e. temperature and humidity levels.
One can catch the flu or a cold by transference of germs through:
- Handling an object or surface touched by or sneezed / coughed on by an infected person
- Shaking the hands of an infected person
- Being in the path of a sneeze / cough of an infected person
Strep throat: throat infection caused by streptococcus bacteria with symptoms of a sore throat, nausea, fever and chills that manifest within 2 – 5 days of exposure. Antibiotic treatment is required or else it can lead to complications like rheumatic fever, ear infection and kidney disease.
Ringworm: skin infection that appears as ring-shaped patches on the skin and can affect the scalp. You can get contract it by being close contact of an infected person. Treatment involves applying antifungal creams, taking antifungal pills or antifungal wash.
Giardasis: intestinal parasitic infection that is super contagious and is generally water-borne. You can get this from swimming pools, spas and sexual / skin contact with an infected person, or even through sharing of food. Treatment for this requires specific intake of allopathic drugs to help kill the bacteria.
There are many more contagious illnesses, we only covered the most frequent occurring ones in this article.
BASIC PREVENTIVE MEASURES
- Wash your hands often.
- Clean surface areas where you and others work frequently.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Do not share food or beverages with others, including your personal items – towel, shaving razors, toothbrush, nail clippers, etc.
- Used tissues should be immediately placed in the waste basket so the germs do not come in contact with surface areas.
- Avoid close contact with contagious people and stay home if you are sick.
- Eat properly, get adequate exercise and sleep well so you can recover quickly through building a healthy immune system.
NUTRITION TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY
It actually takes more than just an apple a day to keep the doctor away. In fact, Mother Nature has gifted us with some superb immune-boosting foods that provide great nutrients to boost our immune system, which many of us take for granted. Besides the required daily nutritious and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, the 8 to 10 glasses of water, here are some specific foods that can take your immunity levels from zero to hero:
Oats, Barley, Mushrooms, etc.
Note: This article is intended for educational purposes only and by no means is to aid in self diagnosis and or self remedy of illnesses and diseases. Always check with a qualified medical practitioner before starting on any complementary or natural remedies and therapies.
Copyright © 2014 twee kuikens™. All rights reserved.