Every day your body wages war against enemies that are unseen but potentially deadly. Foreign invaders such as viruses, bacteria and parasites threaten your health. You are not likely to be aware of those battles because your immune system repels or destroys most of the invaders before the onset of symptoms. Sometimes, however, the harmful germs gain upper hand. If so, you may need to bolster your defences with medicine and other treatments. So, how you control for your defences has much to do with how healthy you are. Consider these 5 elements that can expose you to disease and how you can put up the best possible defences.
The Threat: Harmful organisms can “march” straight into your body by way of contaminated water.
Your Defence: The best defence is to protect your water supply from contamination. If you know that your water supply is contaminated you can treat water at home to make it safe. Never put your hands into a clean water supply.
The Threat: Harmful organisms can be present in your food.
Your Defence: Contaminated food may look fresh and nutritious. So, it is advisable to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetable. Ensure those food utensils, kitchen surfaces and your hands are clean when preparing or serving food. Some foods require cooking at a certain temperature in order to destroy dangerous microbes.
The Threat: Some insects can infect you with the harmful organism that lives inside them.
Your Defence: Limit contact disease-carrying insects by staying indoors when they are active or by wearing protective clothing, such as trousers and long sleeves.
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The Threat: Microbes that live harmlessly inside an animal can threaten your health. If you are bitten or scratched by a pet or another animal or exposed to its faeces, you could be at risk.
Your Defence: Some people choose to keep their animals outside the house to minimise contact with them. Wash your hands after touching a domestic animal, and avoid all contact with animals.
The Threat: Some germs can invade your body by riding on tiny droplets in someone’s sneeze or a cough. They can also spread through skin contact, such as hugging or shaking hands.
Your Defence: Do not share personal items like razors, toothbrush, towels or underwear. Avoid contact with body fluids from animals or from other people, including blood and products derived from blood. If possible, stay at home when you are sick.
(AWAKE No 6 2016)