Professor Scherer , do you automatically get sick on trains and buses in winter because someone is constantly sniffing or coughing around you?
Of course, there is then a higher risk. Public transport plays a special role in viral infections . But you should also be careful with any other gathering of people that you cannot avoid. For protection, hand hygiene is particularly important.
So: wash thoroughly when you get home?
Exactly, but you have to do it right, most of them are not aware of that: First hold your hands under running water, then lather all around and rub in under gentle pressure for at least 20 to 30 seconds. Rinse and dry carefully with a towel that others do not use. Disinfecting is of course also useful.
But I can’t rely on everyone sticking to such rules. And despite all the hygiene, your nose sometimes races on the go. So what?
Above all, you should not distribute the pathogens and therefore not touch your face with your hand when you are out and about. This is because viruses can get onto your hand and from there to the next handle on the bus. Conversely, it is also important not to lead pathogens that may already be in the hand to your own airways.
Wouldn’t that be the reason why a flu shot would make sense?
Yes, for certain groups, for example for everyone over the age of 60, for people with chronic diseases such as asthma and also for pregnant women from the second third. But influenza viruses, which can cause “real” flu , are not the only problem. There is no vaccination against the many rhinoviruses that cause colds, for example. Ultimately, only the above-mentioned hygiene measures can help prevent this.
Can we at least do something to make our immune system strong for the winter?
Naturally. It helps our immune system in all seasons if we keep fit, eat healthily and exercise enough. It doesn’t have to be competitive sport, winter walks and regular fresh air can bring a lot.
Inside, dry heating air causes problems for many.
Exactly. That is why it is important to ventilate. Sufficient sleep and stress avoidance complete the prevention program.