Do’s and Don’ts for avoiding the seasonal flu this winter

By Dr. Kushal Banerjee

Winter is finally here and while many of us enjoy the chill in the air, the colder weather may mean a cough, cold and fever for some of us. Thanks to COVID-19, these symptoms now cause a great deal of anxiety and stress. If you suspect that you have COVID-19, it is best to get yourself tested, these symptoms are, however, also the sign of the seasonal flu caused by the influenza virus.

All the restrictions that we have been advised to follow to reduce our chances of contracting COVID-19 also keep our chances of catching the flu low. These viruses are transmitted by the same route and that is why wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and washing our hands frequently can significantly lower our chances of contracting these infections. We should also avoid touching our face as much as we can.

We should try to avoid social gatherings as much as we can. Those present may have mild symptoms or be pre-symptomatic but still contagious. We should be particularly careful about people we encounter with symptoms of cough and cold. It is socially acceptable to request that these individuals always keep their masks on. If we have these symptoms, we should not leave our homes at all. This is a simple courtesy to others and it helps us recover quicker by allowing the body to rest and not exposing it to varying temperatures.

Exposure to irritants of the respiratory system can cause inflammation of its passages and this can make us more susceptible to infection. We should avoid be outdoors for prolonged periods during days of very poor air quality. We should also try to limit our exposure to other irritants like perfumes, insecticides and similar substances for the same reason.

To keep our immunity up, we should ensure that we lead a disciplined, well regulated life. Our meal timings and bed timings should be fixed, and we should not stay up late. Although, eight hours of sleep is usually recommended, new research suggests that late night sleepers may have a higher risk of a number illnesses including that of contracting infections like the flu.

Regular moderate physical activity is extremely helpful in keeping our immunity strong and increase the body’s ability to fend off infections.

Homeopathic medicines like Calcarea Carbonicum, Psorinum and others may help prevent the flu. Patients presenting with symptoms of the flu respond well to medicines like Rhus Tox, Lycopodium, Bryonia and others. Persistent or high fever often responds to medicines like Gelsemium. It is best to only consume medicines with the guidance of a homeopathic physician.

The writer is Dr. Kushal Banerjee, Consultant Homeopath,Dr. Kalyan Banerjee’s Clinic


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