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Author Topic: How to avoid infection when most people are coughing & sneezing?  (Read 1286 times)
kristina
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« on: February 04, 2019, 02:05:55 PM »

Hello,
I would like to know how - after my new kidney-transplant - I can go about to avoid an infection in midst-winter in a big city like London where right now many people are coughing and sneezing? Unfortunately many people do not bother to put their hand in front of their mouth when they need to sneeze of cough?
In order to protect myself, is a huge folded tissue in front of my nose and mouth good enough or are there some special tricks I should know? Is it a good idea to avoid people altogether for the first few months? Or is it a better idea to carry on as near as "usual" as is possible?
Many thanks for your thoughts from Kristina. :grouphug;
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 02:07:55 PM by kristina » Logged

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  He was completion and fulfillment in itself, like a meteor which follows its own path.
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SooMK
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 03:20:09 PM »

That is a challenge, especially this time of year and especially in the early post-transplant days in a big city. The face masks, although they aren't very useful against germs,  might be just the thing to get people to keep their distance. They can't know whether you are trying to protect yourself or protect them. You could have the plague for all they know. Hand washing when possible and hand sanitizer if hand washing isn't possible, every time you move your location is good. Exiting the subway--hand sanitizer, exiting the clinic--hand sanitizer/visit to the restroom to wash hands and so on. I always wash my hands when I return from any trip outside the house. Keep your hands off your face. I would avoid crowds early on, when you can. I had to take public transportation to my clinic in NYC, but I wouldn't otherwise expose myself to crowds for a long time. It's definitely not business as usual in the first year. You have to be on full alert. Good luck!
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SooMK
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Charlie B53
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 04:11:23 PM »


Soo spelled it out nicely.

Over-crowded cities in China and Japan regularly show large portions of the population wearing those face masks hoping to reduce the number of contagions spreading.

Hand washing Religiously, sanitizer often. using a paper towel to open doors so as not to touch the surface that others have touched.

Stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, eat a well balanced diet.

All contribute to health.
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 09:08:34 PM »

Over-crowded cities in China and Japan regularly show large portions of the population wearing those face masks hoping to reduce the number of contagions spreading.
When a close friend learned I was wearing a mask in public he asked if I was trying to pass myself off as Chinese.
Quote
They can't know whether you are trying to protect yourself or protect them.
The mask?  Funny you should ask.   I'm fresh off a contract job setting up a solar powered computer network at an Ebola clinic in the Congo.   I don't think I am infected, but my doc told me to mask in public for a month after returning stateside.
-------------------
I canceled a trip to LV 4 months post TX that would involve 5 hours on a plane then walking around a convention floor with 60,000 or so other attendees.  It just didn't seem to be worth the risk.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 09:12:49 PM by Simon Dog » Logged
kristina
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 01:47:39 AM »

Many thanks for your helpful thoughts, SooMK, Charlie and Simon, I appreciate them very much.
I already walked around yesterday with a folded hanky over my mouth and nose and everyone went out of my way, it certainly helped me a lot to successfully "do" the trick.
I also walked on the side of the pedestrian-walk where there was less "people-traffic". There is always one less popular side...
I won't go into shops yet, but I risk to go for walks to get a little bit stronger.
I still drink over three liters every day, I have "got" used to it by now and it still helps.
Whenever I go out I wrap myself up very safely.
My hands are washed all the time all day long and I also need to give them a little cream, so they can't get too dry and get cracked, which may give infection another chance.
Many thanks again from Kristina. :grouphug;
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 01:50:46 AM by kristina » Logged

Bach was no pioneer; his style was not influenced by any past or contemporary century.
  He was completion and fulfillment in itself, like a meteor which follows its own path.
                                        -   Robert Schumann  -

                                          ...  Oportet Vivere ...
PrimeTimer
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 06:32:20 PM »

I keep wet hand wipes with me wherever I go. I also usually carry a small shopping list and if I feel the need to, I cover my nose and mouth with it. I have asthma and whenever I walk through the refrigerated section at the grocery store I have to cover my mouth and nose otherwise, the cold dry air triggers an attack. But in your case, a small paper shopping list could act as a "mask" only without the obvious use of one. Also, with it being winter you can easily get away with investing in a good pair of stylish gloves without them looking too conspicuous. They could be cleaned or washed when you return home. If I'm correct, I think back in the "old days" people wore gloves to politely avoid germs as there was not the sort of hygiene or plumbing that we have today. Sounds like you are starting to do better. Hopefully your thoughts of getting "out and about" indicate that you are. Keep going strong, Kristina!
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iolaire
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2019, 05:05:14 AM »

My center admitted that the research on face masks goes both ways and there is not a clear agreement that they prevent/protect well. Initially they wanted me to stay away from large gatherings (theaters and concerts) and public transportation for six months. At the six month point I immediately went back to bus and metro for my commute - driving in heavy traffic sucks - it was about 45 minutes to drive the six miles into work about the same as public transportation.

I now use hand sanitizer at work a lot because Iím more likely to tough my face more there.   I do move seats sometimes on metro when people are hacking bad.

I think the Asian countries use masks more out of custom more that pure science. During last years fires on the west coast we were reminded yet again that paper masks do not prevent inhalation of smoke or smog - to do that you need a properly fitted and placed respirators. But thatís not to say a simple paper mask might no help more than nothing.
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Transplant July 2017 from out of state deceased donor, waited three weeks the creatine to fall into expected range, dialysis December 2013 - July 2017.

Well on dialysis I traveled a lot and posted about international trips in the Dialysis: Traveling Tips and Stories section.
Charlie B53
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2019, 10:17:20 AM »


While the Jury may still be out over the effectiveness of those masks, I see them all the time in Dr Offices and Hospitals alonog with a sign, If you are sick Please put on a mask.

Which leads me to Believe that many Dr's, Nurses, Hospital Staff all think the masks do provide some level of protection.

It is only a matter of time before American and European Cities adopt the habit.
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iolaire
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2019, 10:26:48 AM »


While the Jury may still be out over the effectiveness of those masks, I see them all the time in Dr Offices and Hospitals alonog with a sign, If you are sick Please put on a mask.

I think they are helpful, and may be more helpful on containing the nasties, and containing the spit as people cough etc., but in no way do they solve the problem.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/well/live/face-masks-work-healthy-colds-flu-immunity-prevention.html
The best evidence suggests that, when sick, wearing a mask can help to protect others from getting sick. And when well, wearing a mask around those who are sick will probably decrease your own chances of becoming infected. But the masks are far from foolproof.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/maskguidance.htm
Unvaccinated Asymptomatic Persons, Including Those at High Risk for Influenza Complications
No recommendation can be made at this time for mask use in the community by asymptomatic persons, including those at high risk for complications, to prevent exposure to influenza viruses. If unvaccinated high-risk persons decide to wear masks during periods of increased respiratory illness activity in the community, it is likely they will need to wear them any time they are in a public place and when they are around other household members.


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Transplant July 2017 from out of state deceased donor, waited three weeks the creatine to fall into expected range, dialysis December 2013 - July 2017.

Well on dialysis I traveled a lot and posted about international trips in the Dialysis: Traveling Tips and Stories section.
enginist
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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2019, 11:01:07 PM »

The paper masks may be cheap, but they are ineffective against the smallest particles.  On Amazon, you can buy medical grade and military grade face masks that filter out dust, pollution, viruses, and bacteria.  Most of these are multi-layer and some are washable.  But you can only wear them for a couple of hours at a time, because they interfere with the flow of air.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 07:17:14 PM by enginist » Logged
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