1 Wash and go: Hands are the commonest medium of transferring viral, bacterial or fungal infections. So make sure that you maintain an adequate hand hygiene. Wash with hands with antimicrobial soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of infections from one person to another in the hospitals and also in the community.
2 Small things matter: Particularly in office environment, where we share things like telephone, copying machines and door handles, common cold, influenza (including H1N1), chicken pox, mumps, food-poisoning, respiratory infections and skin infections are some of the diseases that can be unwittingly transmitted by just a handshake. Ensure that you use a hand sanitiser before eating anything. Apart from this, sanitiser of you have handled waste, touched your own body parts or blown your nose.
3 Be alert: If you have visited any hospital, make sure you clean your hands properly; at these places, you might pick up a cold by doing something as simple as holding a door knob. Health experts say as many as 14 people in a row may get infected by touching a door handle.
(HTC with inputs from Dr Namita Jaggi, Consultant Microbiologist, Artemis Health Institute)