Winter is a rough time. The office (and public transport) can feel like a vestibule of germs and when a colleague gets the sniffles, you know the rest of your co-workers are going to be dropping like flies in a matter of days.

So, to avoid being another number on the casualty count, our resident GP, Dr Claudia Lee gave us her tips on how to dodge catching a cold.

Supercharge your immune system

If you stay healthy throughout the chilly season, your immuntiy will be much stronger. “Eat warm, nutritious winter foods; stay hydrated with water or teas (especially lemon and ginger); and boost supplements (or foods) with extra nutrients such as zinc, selenium, and Vitamins A, C, and D.

Get vaxxed

“Talk to your doctor about the need for the influenza vaccine,” suggests Dr Lee. “It is advised for those with medical conditions such as severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes that can lead to complications from influenza.”

Recharge

Getting some decent R&R is essential. “Most importantly allow your body to recharge throughout your hectic day with breaks that involves, down time, fun time and social connection,” says Dr Lee.

Wash your hands

Both the cold and the flu can be transmitted via respiratory particles through the air and from infected surfaces. So if a work mate keeps coughing over their desk or you have to touch a railing in a public place, make sure you give your hands a good scrub. It’s best to keep a little hand sanitiser on you at all times.

Keep your distance

Here’s a gross fact for you: “After an uncovered sneeze, respiratory particles have been reported to travel up to three metres in front and one metre to the sides,” says Dr Lee. So, if you’re not determined to avoid getting sick this winter, be cautious around contagious friends!

If you do happen to catch a cold, avoid spreading it like wildfire by covering your mouth with a tissue if you cough or sneeze, or even better, sneeze into your elbow. “You can guarantee that you won’t be shaking hands, holding hand rails, using a keyboard, or eating your lunch with your elbows, so that the spread of infectious particles is far more limited,” says Dr Lee.

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