December 18, 2011

Safety Tips To Prevent Infection this Holiday Season

Filed under: winter holiday — robertprice @ 7:38 pm

The holidays are supposed to be a festive time of year; however, with extra stress, traveling and partying, there is also an increased risk of you getting sick.  Moreover, you may not even be aware of what poses a health risk.  Below find some helpful tips on what could be the culprit behind your post holiday cold and/or flu.

Eggnog

While store bought eggnog is made with pasteurized eggs, homemade eggnog contains raw eggs.  Thus, if the homemade eggnog is left out for too long, there is a risk of Salmonella Enteritidis. To avoid this problem, buy store bought eggnog for your own parties, and refrain from drinking the eggnog at other parties, unless you specifically know that it is store bought.

The Shopping Mall

In the crowded holiday shopping rush of the shopping mall, you are bound to come into close contact with other individuals.  If an individual is sick and touches something that you later touch, you are at risk of getting their infection. Check-out lines, bank machines, escalator handrails and shopping cart handles pose a danger.   What about those long line-ups of kids waiting to see Santa?  Those children may be infected with colds and flus.

The Mistletoe

Do you know the second easiest way, after sneezing, for a virus to spread?  Kissing, of course.  You may kiss someone who is contagious and not yet present visible symptoms.  For this reason, do yourself a favor and avoid the mistletoe this holiday season.

The Airplane

The airplane cabin is the perfect breeding ground for colds and flus.  Airplane bathrooms and tray tables pose a particularly health hazard.  To avoid the germs associated with the airplane, it is best that you board the airplane prepared with hand sanitizer alcohol-based liquid or disinfectant wipe.  Additionally, it is important to keep yourself hydrated while on the plane.   Lastly, think about turning off the air above your head, so you can keep your own air around you longer and put off breathing someone else’s.

The Turkey

Many people, who typically don’t prepare turkey year round, suddenly have the urge to cook poultry (i.e. turkey) during the holiday season!  If you know someone who falls into this category, make sure that he or she is aware of the proper poultry preparation requirements.  For example, it takes a large bird four to five days in the refrigerator to defrost, and leaving the bird on the counter, or putting it under hot water to speed up the defrosting process, could expose the turkey meat to some dangerous bacteria and other pathogens.

This article doesn’t advocate becoming a holiday Scrooge, by being paranoid about every little potential holiday germ source.  Instead, it simply concludes that by taking a few precautionary measures, you can ensure that you don’t contract a virus this season!

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