12 Don't let colds and flu stop you!

Don't let colds and flu stop you!

Immune System Expert
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09 October 2013

How do colds and flu spread?

Can you catch a cold from a £5 note handed to you as change when shopping? What about that mouse at the office computer everyone uses?

Cold and flu viruses are more commonly found in the winter and especially so when people around you have the infection. It was once thought that you picked up these infections directly from coughs or sneezes. We now know that it is not as simple as this.

Coughs and sneezes do spread viruses but so do the hands of those suffering from colds or flu. Public surfaces such as door handles, escalators, telephones and lift-buttons can be covered with bugs – in some cases, more bugs than the average toilet seat! Even the polite handshake can transfer germs from one person to another.

You pick up cold and flu viruses up by touching these ‘infected’ surfaces then transfer them to your nose or mouth. Just observe how often people touch their faces with their hands – scientists tell us that this happens up to 100 times an hour. Try as we may, some habits are hard to break!

Colds and flu fact sheet

Don’t let colds and flu stop you this winter. Read our new Colds & Flu Infographic Fact Sheet to find out the key facts about colds and flu, and what you can do to avoid coming in contact with infectious viruses this winter.


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