All About Nursing

How Germs Get into Your Body – Nose, Throat, and Lungs – All About Nursing

Your body has an excellent coat of armor in the skin, which keeps out germs. But cuts or other breaks in it, and openings such as the nose and mouth, provide opportunities for them to enter.

Many bacteria and viruses are spread and taken into the body through the nose and throat. Most germs thrive in moisture, and spitting, coughing, and sneezing keep them circulating. Motion pictures show that a sneeze, you may expel a spray of liquid to a distance of several feet. Such disease as the common cold, pneumonia, tuberculosis, whooping cough, scarlet fever, diphtheria, influenza, and meningitis are spread this way. These illnesses are circulated by diseased people, by people who are “coming down” with a disease, or by carriers of the germs who harbor them without being sick.

It is not etiquette alone that demands that you cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. The germs that are lodged in your nose and throat relish this free ride and the opportunity to spread and multiply. You should never spit in public or put into your mouth pencils or anything that other people handle. As much as you can, avoid crowds during the “sniffle” season or during an epidemic.

More people than you would guess have tuberculosis, which is one of the most serious disease you can get by inhaling germs. Any cough that lasts more than six weeks calls for a chest x-ray. In fact, everybody should have periodic chest films to exclude tuberculosis – as advised in the section on the periodic medical checkups. Tuberculosis does not always reveal itself with outward signs. A healthy-looking, robust person may have it. (Same as in COVID19)

Sore throats, colds, and coughs should be treated with bed rest and plenty of fluids until they are cured. Prompt treatment of colds is necessary for the prevention of more serious diseases which are caused by viruses. Colds offer many bacteria, especially streptococci and pneumococci, a chance to get a foothold and infect your body with more dangerous diseases.

It is best to stay in bed until you are well and the fever is gone. Too many people with contagious disease get out of bed too soon; they are so bored and so eager to get out and going that they immediately infect those trusting friends and relatives who no longer avoid them.

Nursing mothers with colds should ask the doctor about wearing a nose-and-mouth mask when handling the baby. An no kissing while sick with strep sore throats, pneumonia, ets. No love is strong enough to withstand virulent infections.

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