Keeping Well in the Winter Months – Neo-Health Advisory Services (NHAS)
The winter months always lead to an increase in persons suffering from the flu. This seasonal trend has taken on greater concern this year with the ongoing presence of COVID19. We speak with two of the principals of NHAS and provide background on the issue and some practical steps one can take to reduce the risk of getting the flu or COVID19 during these winter months in the northern hemisphere.
Principals in NHAS
The Principals in NHAS have a deep and diverse background in healthcare:
- Dr Francois Fong (CEO, Neo-Health Group, Hong Kong) – Experienced medical doctor (GP) with strong experience in the hospital and health care industry
- John C. Joe, MD, MPH (CEO, Vigor Medical Systems, Inc., Houston, Texas) – Experienced doctor of family medicine with a focus on technology in the healthcare industry
In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. While influenza viruses circulate year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm#) The above comment applies also to other countries in the northern hemisphere.
COVID19 and flu viruses are respiratory viruses that enter the body via the mouth, nose or eyes. Viruses are thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through droplets made when people cough, sneeze, or talk.
In our nasal passages, the body creates mucus to help stop these viruses from entering. However, when temperatures get cold it leads to dryness in the air that reduces the mucus in the nasal passages and thus makes us more at-risk to respiratory viruses.
Countries often offer flu vaccines and we are just seeing now the introduction of vaccines for COVID19. However, there are many practical steps a person can take to reduce their risk to respiratory viruses.
Everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs
Here are a few practical steps that may lessen your risk to respiratory viruses:
- Use a humidifier in your home or office to help reduce the dryness in your nasal passages so as to help your body maintain a higher level of mucus to protect against the respiratory viruses.
- Wear a mask anytime you are outside of your residence. The mask will help prevent the transmission of a virus to others if you are infected, however, it will also help reduce the dry, cold air you breath that reduces the mucus being generated by your body. Masks protect both you and others.
- Wearing glasses or goggles can also help reduce your exposure to viruses entering your body via your eyes
- Wear gloves when outdoors and put them in a designated area inside your home. We frequently touch our eyes, mouth or nose with our hands and so breaking the contact between virus – hand – nasal passage is important. As an extension, always wash our hands very well with warm water and soap.
Modern medicine (vaccines) and healthcare (GP or hospital) have done a lot of improve the health of our population. However, there are also many things we can do in our day-to-day life to reduce our risk to respiratory infections and, also, reduce the risk to all the people we come into contact with every single day. Only when we have a complete approach to healthcare, including modifying our individual behaviour, can we truly minimise our risk to respiratory illnesses.
John D. Evans, CFA
Founder of SEIML
30 December 2020