SIX STEPS TO HELP KEEP YOU HEALTHY

1. Wash your hands often using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.

Ensure hands are washed:

  1. After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  2. After using the washroom
  3. Before touching your eyes, mouth, or putting in contacts
  4. Before eating or preparing food
  5. Avoid touching your face as much as possible
  6. Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Throw out used tissues right away and wash your hands
  7. Do not share objects that have been in other people’s mouths, e.g. toothbrushes, drinks, water bottles, unwashed utensils, cigarettes, lip products, mouthpieces and musical instruments.
  8. Stay home if you are sick. This will help prevent spread of infections to co-workers and others
  9. Frequently clean common surfaces such as keyboards, doorknobs, counter tops, etc.

VIRUS OR BACTERIA – DIFFERENT OR THE SAME?

Both viruses and bacteria can cause infections and are easily spread in similar ways:
coughing or sneezing infected droplets to others directly, or touching surfaces or objects that have been infected with viruses or bacteria and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes without washing your hands.

  • Most respiratory infections are caused by a virus (e.g. common cold, flu)
  •  Viral infections can get better in four to five days, but some may last longer
  • Some viruses can be treated with antiviral medication
  • Antibiotics only work against bacteria; your doctor may not be able to give you antibiotics for your illness

ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE IS A PROBLEM!

What is antibiotic resistance?

  •  Antibiotic resistance means that a drug is no longer effective in killing a certain bacteria
  •  Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, not colds or flu (viruses). Increased improper use of antibiotics can lead to resistance. Your doctor may not always prescribe medications for your illness
  • Antibiotics are only effective if taken and finished as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking antibiotic medications part way through your treatment, even if you are feeling better

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

  •  Do not share prescription drugs or take drugs prescribed for someone else
  • See your doctor or medical practitioner for further assessment if your illness becomes more serious.

Your doctor may be able to prescribe a medication or treatment. Make sure you and your family get your flu shots each year and that other vaccinations are up to date!

For more information contact Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400.

CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR WELL WATER IS SAFE TO DRINK….

Unsafe drinking water can cause serious illness, especially in pregnant women and babies. Private well owners should test their water at least three times per year (Spring, Summer, Fall), for bacteria such as E.coli and Coliforms, and once per year for nitrates and fluoride. To find out more check out our fact sheets at: http://chd.region.waterloo.on.ca/en/healthyLivingHealthProtection/resources/Nitrates.pdf http://chd.region.waterloo.on.ca/en/healthyLivingHealthProtection/resources/FluorideDrinkingWater_fs.pdf http://chd.region.waterloo.on.ca/en/healthyLivingHealthProtection/Private-Wells.asp

Written by Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services

Updated November 2016

For more information contact your health care provider or local public health.

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