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Capital Chemist CurtinIf you happen to be within 2 metres of a sick colleague or family member, you’re in the direct firing line of millions of viruses!

Unfortunately, when we live and work in close proximity to others we risk catching and passing on whatever virus is going around. It’s important to protect yourself in the first instance by getting your annual flu shot at your community pharmacy. ‘Herd immunity’ is very important. If most people are vaccinated it helps to protect those who are unable to get a flu shot or have a compromised immune system, like infants, the elderly or those being treated for serious illnesses. By having a flu shot you protect yourself, your family and the people around you.

Cold and flu etiquette you should adhere to:

Don’t be a hero

If you never take time off work and insist on ‘soldiering on’ when you are clearly sick, you are putting everyone around you at risk. Influenza viruses are spread through infected droplets from coughing or sneezing that come into contact with the mucous membranes in your nose, mouth or eyes. Not only can you catch the flu from someone sneezing or coughing close to you, but also from touching surfaces that they have touched.

If you are sick, make sure you regularly wash your hands properly and avoid touching your mouth or nose. Our hands are responsible for spreading a large number of infectious diseases. Most people don’t wash their hands correctly, especially the areas around fingernails, between fingers and the backs of hands. It should take you at least 20 seconds to wash your hands, using warm water and soap. Always wash your hands after visiting the toilet and before and after eating. Also, if possible dry your hands with a paper towel and to protect yourself from others who have not washed their hands properly; open the bathroom door with a paper towel.

Watch what you touch

The flu virus can survive for many hours on hard surfaces like stainless steel and plastic and up to an hour in the air in enclosed environments like your office1. You can reduce your chance of spreading viruses by keeping the following handy: hand sanitiser, tissues, antibacterial wipes and even a face mask can be particularly effective if you are sick. Research conducted by the University of Arizona found that the average desktop has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat2. Most cleaning companies don’t clean keyboards because they don’t want to risk damaging them, so make sure to wipe down surfaces and use hand sanitiser regularly during the day. We touch our faces numerous times in an hour and when you are using a phone you’re bringing germs and bacteria right up to your face. Common courtesies in the office like shaking hands or holding the door for a colleague can also spread germs quickly.

Take precautions

The best way to avoid spreading germs to your family is to frequently wipe down with antibacterial wipes all those surfaces which are touched by multiple people during the day. This could include doorknobs, the TV remote, microwave, refrigerator door and the kettle. Avoid serving meals ‘family-style’ where people are sharing serving spoons, or using their hands to help themselves to food or snacks.


About Capital Chemist Curtin

Capital Chemist Curtin is a service-based community pharmacy located at Curtin Shopping Centre. Our vision is to have trained staff with professional knowledge and skills to provide optimal health care and advice to the community. We are one of few pharmacies in Canberra who supply IVF medicines. All our pharmacists are trained to provide optimal advice on the use and administration of these medicines. Specialist testing has become part of our everyday services. We are able to test lipid profile, HbA1c, iron levels in addition to regular blood pressure, glucose. These tests can be used in conjunction with our successful Impromy CSIRO weight management program. We have a compounding lab to prepare specialised medications for you and your pet. We have trained compounding pharmacists rostered on everyday so can prepare your medicines straight away. Other services included vaccinations, leave certificates, woundcare and ear piercing.