Illnesses are an unfortunate reality of life. Without the occasional illness, we probably wouldn’t appreciate our healthier days so much! Illness can occur at any age and the cause isn’t always obvious. Once you know how most illnesses are spread, you can begin taking steps to lower your risk of illness every day!
Illness spread through direct contact is an illness that’s spread from one person to another. Direct contact can also refer to an illness spread from an animal to a person, but that’s much more uncommon. Direct contact with an illness can come in the form on hugging, kissing, or even talking to someone who’s carrying the illness. If the infected person sneezes, coughs, or breathes out small particles when they’re close to you, you’ve officially been exposed. The illness can then enter your body and begin making you sick too.
Indirect contact with an illness is hard to avoid, but good hand hygiene helps! Indirect contact occurs when a bacteria or virus is lingering on a surface. For instance, if someone who’s sick wipes their nose and then opens a doorknob, they’ve transferred the illness to the doorknob. That bacteria can live on the doorknob for a surprisingly long time! Then, you touch it. All it takes is for your hand to come in contact with your eyes, mouth, or nose, and you’ve been exposed to the illness. Frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent indirect exposure to illness.
Exposure Through Food
Foodborne illness is a very real problem. Commonly referred to as food poisoning, you won’t know you’ve been exposed to an illness until it’s too late. You can prevent foodborne illness by following food safety guidelines. That includes keeping cold food cold and hot food hot until it’s time to eat. Food begins growing bacteria quickly when it’s left at room temperature. Pay attention to the expiration dates on your food products too! Expired products are more likely to have mold and other bacteria forming.
You can prevent illness by living a healthy lifestyle that promotes a strong immune system. Get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu, avoid people you suspect are sick, and wash your hands often! Wearing a mask has become more popular during the pandemic and it’s proven to prevent more than just COVID-19.
If you believe you’ve been exposed to an illness and need treatment or testing, visit a nearby urgent care center today! Urgent care centers can provide vaccinations, testing, and treatment to cure or manage the symptoms of your illness. The quicker you get medical care, the quicker you’ll start feeling healthy again!