With it being cold and flu season and many of us are teaching and dancing, how do we protect ourselves? When is it best to stay home and rest with your favorite television series on netflix? When is it best to carry on with a box of tissue and emergenC packages as your side kicks?
First and foremost, wash your hands and encourage your students and fellow dancers to do the same. Keep in mind that antibacterial soap and hand sanitizers are not the answer. Only use when there is nothing else available! We all have heard that using antibacterial anything, from cleaning supplies to stainless steel to hand soap can contribute to the creation of "super bugs". Super bugs are germs that do not respond to the antibiotics that are available to us and are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. It is for this reason that it is imperative to fully complete antibiotics prescribed to us, rather than discontinue when we are feeling better.
Secondly: fluids, fluids, rest, fluids, balanced diet, fluids, regular exercise, fluids, rest....fluids
Remaining hydrated and well rested is always a good idea, but especially now. This will give your immune system the back up it needs to protect your body. This also means that if you get sick, you will bounce back sooner. A well balanced diet and regular exercise are also important to being in the best shape possible when an infection may strike.
Incubation and Contagious STages of an Infection
There is some discrepancy of when a person is contagious and when they are not. There are two periods to pay attention to in the course of an illness: Incubation stage and contagious stage.
The incubation stage is when the individual has been exposed to the virus and the virus has infected a particular area of the body. There are no symptoms at this stage, but that does not mean you are not contagious.
The contagious stage begins when the virus breaks out of the initially infected cells. The immune system notices the virus and symptoms begin to show. Achy muscles, sore throat, runny nose. As the virus continues and the immune system is working hard, fever and exhaustion may appear as tactics to defeating the virus. In the event of fever, it is best to stay home because you are contagious.
You are most likely contagious before you being to show symptoms. Here are some links with more detailed information about incubation and contagious periods of particular viruses and symptoms. Please keep in mind this is just for reference and always consult with a medical professional for further information and instruction.
For more general information, please check out this great site!
CarliAnn & Ella