By now, you might have seen all the decorations in public spaces and heard all the classic songs being played in stores.
Yes, Chinese New Year is just around the corner.
If you’re worried about falling sick during this once-a-year celebration, here are four tips that will help you to be better prepared for the festive season.
1) Wash your hands regularly
Okay, you might be thinking abuden, of course I know that I should wash my hands regularly. That’s to get rid of the germs mah. Fair point.
But did you know that there’s a right way to wash your hands?
According to HealthHub, washing your hands properly means washing them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
Constant rubbing, especially in between your fingers, also helps to break down the grease and dirt that carry most germs.
This helps to reduce the germ count on your hands by up to 99 per cent.
An effective tool to prevent Covid-19 as well as other diseases, it’s a relatively simple act that pays dividends when it comes to keeping ourselves healthy.
If you’re out visiting and can’t get to a tap with running water, hand sanitisers work as well, although studies have found that certain sanitisers work better than others.
2) Wear your mask in large crowds
This may be common sense but bears repeating.
If you’re visiting places like Chinatown where there are large crowds during Chinese New Year, you should play it safe by wearing your mask, even though we can now go maskless in most places in Singapore.
Mask-wearing has been found to be useful in reducing the rate of transmission as a global study revealed that it is linked to a 53 percent fall in incidence of the disease.
3) Eat your fruits and veggies
The food and snacks we eat during Chinese New Year tend to be heavy on sugar, oil, carbs and fat.
While it’s not wrong to indulge in these guilty pleasures (bak kwa and pineapple tarts anyone?) every once in a while, it is also important to eat healthily at the same time.
One way to eat more healthily during this period would be to consume more fruits and veggies on a daily basis (mandarin oranges are a great way to start).
Having sufficient vitamins and fibre in your body can also help prevent health issues like indigestion, bloating and heartburn, especially during this time of heavy feasting.
4) Get an influenza (flu) vaccine
Now that everyday life has returned to normal and more people are travelling during the Chinese New Year period, there are even greater opportunities for viruses to spread.
Research has found that seven out of 10 people aged 65 and above have complications from influenza (flu) such as pneumonia, inflammation of the heart and sepsis, with 85 per cent of all influenza (flu)-related deaths occurring in this age group.
What’s more, older people may have at least one chronic disease, which increases the risk of influenza (flu)-related death by:
- 20x if you have heart and pulmonary disease
- 5x if you have heart disease
- 3x if you have diabetes
As of Dec. 12, 2022, doctors in Singapore have been seeing a rise in cases of respiratory infection, according to this CNA article.
The cases consist of Covid-19, influenza (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus – all of which are known as a “tripledemic” when they take place concurrently.
If you have symptoms like cough, fever and chills (especially around people with chronic conditions), remember to self-isolate to prevent the risk of severe flu outcomes.
To protect yourself this festive season, you can also get an influenza (flu) vaccine to help:
- Make the symptoms less severe
- Reduce your risk of major cardiovascular events by 36 per cent
- Reduce your risk of hospitalisation by 45 per cent
Currently, the government is subsidising influenza (flu) vaccinations for Singaporean adults.
Depending on the subsidies you are entitled to, you can pay any amount from S$9 to S$35 per vaccination, which is a small price to pay for being safe and healthy.
Click here to find out more.
This sponsored article brought to you by Sanofi made this writer appreciate the marvels of medical science.
Top image via Canva