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A Handshake or a Kiss?

by Sonia Chartier, on 6 November 2017, Cold and Flu
handshake

Business people shake on it; politicians shake it right, left and center; friends and family do it too.

It may be the polite thing to do or the icebreaker, but shaking hands is a hazardous greeting.

In past centuries, people shook hands as a sign of peace, to prove they were not carrying arms and meant no harm. Nowadays, people are starting to avoid it because it does carry a threat: indeed, it has been shown that handshakes are a common way of passing germs such as cold, flu, and stomach bugs. It is much safer to kiss (on the cheek) than to shake hands!

Influenza virus can spread through handshake

These viruses can live on railings, computer keyboards, doorknobs and hands for up to 2 hours. Once passed from person to person through contact such as  handshakes, they typically enter the body when one touches his or her eyes, mouth or nose. Inside the body, they start to reproduce quickly until the infected person ends up with the all too common symptoms. Among the solutions is the very simple motherly advice of washing hands with soap and warm water; and to do it often.

Actually, the wise thing to do after shaking hands with someone is to run to the sink to wash your hands before touching your face! As soon as it is polite to do so, that is. Another way of preventing transmission is to do like kids, who are taught to cover their mouth with their elbow when they cough or sneeze; it is much safer.

Using A.Vogel Echinaforce during the season will prepare your immune system for the fight. To be on the safe side, keep some A.Vogel Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray on hand and take a puff as soon as you feel a tingle in your throat; it should eradicate the germs right there and then.

Although we are not sure that politicians and business people are ready to make the switch and start kissing each other, certainly friends and family could. If you are hesitating, think of this: in Canada, only 37% of men and 47% of women wash their hands to limit exposure to germs.

Experts say the French “air kiss” is actually the safest as it eliminates true contact.

To avoid transmission:

Wash your hands with warm water and soap …

  • …before and after eating or smoking
  • …before and after preparing a meal
  • …after using the restroom
  • …after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose

Lower your chance of catching the flu in 6 easy steps! Download this infographic and put it in your bathroom or kitchen to remind you and your family how to avoid catching the flu!

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