Steps to Stay Healthy When You Have a Weakened Immune System

Steps to Stay Healthy When You Have a Weakened Immune System

Autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis can weaken a person’s immune system. Constant stress also lowers your body’s immune defenses. And if you’ve recently had surgery, cancer treatments, or are recovering from an illness; your immune system may be weak.

Here are steps you can take to stay healthy when you have a weakened immune system.

• Practice Good Hand Hygiene
Viruses and bacteria need to enter your body to make you sick. These germs most often enter your body through mucus membranes, the lining of your nose, throat, and through your eyes. Germs can also enter through cuts and scrapes.

Your hands can carry germs from any surface you touch. If someone who is sick sneezes or coughs and sprays saliva droplets onto a counter, your hands can pick up the germs. If a sick person coughs into their hands and then touches a door handle or ATM keypad, they may leave germs behind for you.

Washing your hands helps prevent accidentally allowing germs to enter your body. If your hands have germs on them and you touch your eyes or other mucus membranes, you can transfer the germs into your body.

Proper and frequent handwashing helps protect you.

Start by wetting your hands and adding soap. Scrub or rub all the areas of your hands, starting at the wrists, and work your way to the tips of your fingers. Pay attention to the back of your hands and between your fingers, so you don’t miss any spots. You should wash your hands for at least 15 seconds, or the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.

Rinse your hands in warm water and dry them with a towel. Don’t use your hands to touch the faucet to turn off the water! You could transfer germs right back to yourself. Instead, use a dry paper towel or your elbow.

Germs have a protective coating to help keep them alive. Soap and warm water break down that coating to kill the germs. Rubbing your hands together helps loosen the germs for the water to rinse them off. Thoroughly drying them helps prevent chapping and breaks in your skin from dry hands.

• Disinfect Objects
Germs can live on surfaces for anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. Viruses can’t reproduce outside of a host, but they can survive on surfaces for some time to try and live long enough to find a host. That means that any surface can have germs on it.

Disinfecting common areas and surfaces is crucial to stopping the spread of disease. That’s why, during COVID-19, workers are wiping down grocery carts, keypads, and door handles.

If one person leaves germs on a surface, anyone who touches it while the virus is alive can pick up the virus and potentially transfer it into their eyes, nose, or mouth. If someone openly sneezes or coughs, the droplets can fall through the air onto surrounding surfaces too.

Different viruses can last different amounts of time on cloth, paper, wood, and metal. The air temperature and humidity also affect how long viruses last on a surface. Cleaning a surface helps remove germs while disinfecting it kills germs.

Using a bleach mixture or disinfecting household cleaner will kill most germs. Dusting or wiping surfaces with a damp cloth might remove some germs, but it doesn’t kill them.

• Avoid People Who Are Sick
Germs come from many sources, not just people who are sick. For example, bacteria can grow on undercooked or spoiled food, and some viruses can be found in nature, in animals and the ground. Throughout your life, you have been exposed to many bacteria and virus, and either did not get sick or only had mild symptoms.

COVID-19 is a “novel” virus, meaning it’s new to humans, and people haven’t been exposed to it before. No one has immunity to it. Scientists don’t know yet why COVID-19 affects some people more than others. But those who have a weakened immune system are more at risk because they have a harder time fighting off germs overall.

Washing your hands, disinfecting surfaces, and avoid those who are sick are all ways you can protect yourself and stay healthy when you have a weakened immune system.

Reference:
How to stay healthy with a weak immune system; https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324930

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