As most of us have experienced, various diseases have distinct seasonal patterns.
Certain viral infections are more prevalent during the warmer summer months, when we spend more time doing outdoor activities, socialising and also most of our holiday travel. This gives the opportunity for viruses from different regions or countries to spread, as quite often our immune systems are not prepared for the new variants in the new locations. However, most airborne respiratory viruses, such as colds, flu and coronaviruses, tend to strike in the colder months when we are all in closer proximity indoors. Interestingly, some diseases do not follow any discernible seasonal cycle at all.
As summer winds down, students of all ages, whether attending school, college, or university, are gearing up for the new school year. Unfortunately, in these crowded environments, there will be uninvited classmates - viruses. These unseen viruses pose a risk to the wellness for all students and that expands out to their parents and guardians who spend time with them. With students working and learning in close contact and sharing supplies and equipment, schools can be hotbeds for infection.
Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses. It causes illnesses that range in severity with the majority of people recovering from fever the dreadful body aches and other symptoms within a week without requiring medical attention. However, influenza can cause severe illness, particularly among higher risk groups, such as the elderly or with conditions that cause immune deficiency.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is another common respiratory virus that causes cold-like symptoms and like a lot of viruses, poses a higher risk to infants and the elderly. RSV infections follow a seasonal pattern, primarily manifesting in the autumn to spring months, coinciding with the return to school, which serves as a prime breeding ground for its rapid transmission.
There’s also the most publicised SARS-CoV-2 virus; the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. While most of us now only experience mild symptoms thanks to natural immunity and vaccines, it still causes inconvenience and the moral dilemma of whether to go about your daily life while you may be infectious to others, as it still remains a significant risk for those in vulnerable groups.
The convergence of back-to-school risk factors, coincides with the onset of flu season and the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some experts have coined this confluence of respiratory viruses as the “tripledemic”.
So how can we protect our families and ourselves against these unseen viruses?
Sleep is important. In addition to helping students concentrate, adequate sleep strengthens the immune system and helps fight off infections.
Bring a Water Bottle
Staying hydrated during the school day has several health benefits. Sending your child off with a water bottle is a good way to encourage them to drink enough water at school. Having their own water bottle also helps them avoid using drinking fountains that can harbour germs and spread infections.
Wash Your Hands
We all touch our eyes, nose, and mouth more frequently than we realise (as anyone who has seen themselves on a Teams or Zoom call will realise!) This is a main route for transmitting viruses on our hands into our bodies. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is one of the best defences against infections. It reduces the risk of respiratory infection by approximately 24 percent and gastrointestinal infections (e.g., diarrhoea) by more than 30 percent.
Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
Good respiratory etiquette helps reduce the spread of infections in schools. Parents and teachers should try to make sure that pupils cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. Using a disposable tissue is best, but if one isn't available, we should cough or sneeze into our elbow or shirt sleeve, keeping germs off our hands.
Get a Flu Jab
Young children are at higher risk for complications, so preventing the flu is key and annual vaccines are usually offered. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that everyone over the age of six months receive an annual flu vaccine. It is still possible to get the flu even if you have had the vaccine, but the severity and length of the illness will be reduced.
Get an extra layer of protection
BioSure is an award-winning medical device manufacturer and supplier of world class self-tests and wellbeing products. Among our innovative offerings is the amazing BioSURE PRO Protective Nasal Spray, specifically designed during the COVID-19 outbreak as a powerful defence against virus infection. With its demonstrated efficacy and user-friendly application, our unique drug-free nasal spray is the ideal solution for safeguarding your health and well-being.
BioSURE PRO is clinically proven to work in two ways. Firstly, it provides a physical barrier in your nasal passages, which helps to prevent the entry of unwanted viruses into the body, and, secondly the natural ingredients, such as ELAH, in the spray have antiviral and antibacterial properties that help to destabilise and neutralise pathogens before they can cause harm.
BioSURE PRO is incredibly cost effective. There are 400 sprays in each bottle, which gives you 100 uses of six hours – that’s under 20p per application!
So if you want to get peace of mind with an extra layer of protection this cold and flu season, take BioSURE PRO wherever you go.