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This week Tempur sat down with Dr Alice McNamara, ACSEP Sports Medicine Registrar for her top tips for staying well and healthy during the flu-season. Here is what she had to say:
And with Winter as we know, come the coughs and colds. This year, we are much better educated on infection control measures; social (physical) distancing, hand hygiene; regular washing and hand sanitizing, and exercising good respiratory hygiene ie coughing into your elbow. These are our best defense and will serve us well when the normal flu season hits, if we stay vigilant!
Viruses like Influenza and SARSCoV2 (Covid-19) are transmitted via respiratory droplets in the air. They are aerosolized when you cough and sneeze, and they can exist on surfaces for anywhere up to 72 hours. Most viral particles cannot survive on from surfaces longer than 24 hours, as they dry out and desiccate.
When out of the home, there are a few ways you can protect yourself. The first is by keeping some hand sanitizer in your car and bag and using after every contact point in public (ie after a supermarket shop, after using public transport, after filling up the car with fuel). Masks are a heavily debated topic, but if you are in a vulnerable population group with underlying illness or have to spend long periods of time in close proximity to others ie public transport, it would be worth considering.
The most important things to remember is that the outside of the mask is dirty. Never touch it, and change your mask daily, ie wash fabric masks in the washing machine daily, or use a new surgical mask.
Inside the home, this is your clean place, where only your bugs and you reside! Keep it that way! Showering before bed is preferable, ensuring your bed is as clean as possible, leaving the day’s bugs away.
Washing outer covers regularly, as well as changing sheets. We recommend weekly or fortnightly depending on your pre-bed showering routine. If you or your children have been unwell, wash sheets and covers more regularly. After sharing a bed with a new person, consider washing the sheets and covers.
TEMPUR mattress are hypoallergenic, containing no commonly known allergens and the cover is antimicrobial treated to inhibit the growth of micro-organisms and improves freshness.
The TEMPUR mattress comes with the ability to remove the cover for ease of washing up to 60 °C. Check the label stitched inside the cover for care instructions on how to best care for your mattress cover. Some TEMPUR mattresses that have TEMPUR material quilted into the cover cannot washed, but instead, these covers should be aired to renew their freshness.
Also please remember, the flu vaccine is a great defense against our top three or four news strains of Influenza this year in Australia. It offers three months protection so booking in now with your GP or pharmacy for June or July, will still allow perfect protection across our typically worst month – August. The flu is still our most deadly virus, and will coexist with Covid this year. By reducing your chance of contracting Influenza, you help our health care system, by minimsing the chance you will spread it to an older, more vulnerable member of the community. For young fit and healthy people, the flu is a huge inconvenience. You will be isolated from your workplace and family this year, as all respiratory illness has to be considered Covid until proven otherwise! 2020 is the perfect year to take precautions, and use good self care. It is not the year to soldier on, even though we have gotten very good at that!
One last reminder… Sleep is so important for your immune system.
Author: Dr Alice McNamara, ACSEP Sports Medicine Registrar, Melbourne
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