Always having a tissue to hand ensures you'll never be caught off guard

Always having a tissue to hand ensures you'll never be caught off guard

An early start to the morning, it's cold outside and you have to contend with coughing, sniffling people on the commute - doesn't exactly set you up for the day does it?

A survey of 1,875 UK adults, by Lloydspharmacy, reveals that 62 per cent of people feel their stress levels rising when faced with a serial sniffer on public transport.

However, nearly three in ten of thos surveyed also admitted that they themselves had been caught short on public transport without a tissue to blow their nose. Asked how they would deal with the situation, just over a quarter said they'd use either an item of clothing or whatever was available - from a newspaper, to wrappers and receipts. More than a fifth said they'd wipe their nose on their hand - a sure way to spread germs.

Even worse, a shocking 33 per cent confessed to 'disposing' of their bogeys, among other places: on the floor, under furniture, in their mouth - and on other people.

Asked to rank behaviour they consider 'bad manners', sneezing and coughing without covering your mouth ranked highest; followed by picking your nose or sniffing loudly in public and not using a tissue to blow your nose. Rather worryingly, one in 20 of those surveyed thought none of the above demonstrated bad manners.

Etiquette expert, Marie-Héléne Ferguson, says: "Good manner cost nothing and are important in all aspects of life. Handling yourself properly when you have a cold, cough or flu is no different; in fact in the case of flu it's essential to help stop infection spreading.

"Prevention is the way forward, but if you're poorly and need to be out in public act responsibly. Fabric hankies are a no-no in this day and age - carry tissues and use them when you blow your nose and also to cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze. Also, don't be afraid to politely offer someone a tissue; you never know, it may save you from getting ill."

The survey also asked people how they feel when they sniff or cough on public transport. Nearly half said they were embarrassed about the noise they make and, surprisingly, this ranked much higher than feelings of guilt about passing on infections.

Nitin Makadia, flu expert at Lloydspharmacy, says: "It's disappointing that people are more worried about the noise they make when blowing their nose than spreading infection. We're all responsible for helping to protect both ourselves and those that may be more vulnerable from catching germs, whether that's by getting a flu vaccination or by helping to control germs through good hygiene.

"Last year there was a major flu outbreak, which resulted in a national shortage of flu vaccines. The good news if that this seems to have prompted people to come forward this year. In just one week in early October we saw a massive 422 per cen increase in people coming in for flu vaccines compared to the same week last year.

"But flu doesn't discriminate, so getting vaccinated isn't just for 'at risk' groups. Prevention really is our best insurance policy against getting flu, so I'd urge people to get vaccinated sooner rather than later - it's cheap, quick and could make the coming winter much more pleasant for you and your friends and family."

Whether you opt for flu jab or not, some of these products may help to build up your immune system or relieve the symptoms of the cold and flu, we're all still waiting for the miracle cure.

Brits spend over £2 billion annually on over-the-counter products to avoid a trip to the doctors and many don't even like the taste or texture of what they are buying.

Why swallow a bitter, astringent or sickly syrup when you could start your day with a natural and delicious hot drink - packed with bug-fighting ingredients. Comvita Manuka Honey & Olve Leaf Hot Drink not only provides soothing relief from cold symptoms, but offers support to the body's immune response.

As the weather changes your body has to re-adapt too, which means so does your immune system. This makes you more vulnerable to infections and viruses so getting enough vitamin C is essential for warding off colds, Camu Camu is designed to combat the rigours of modern life. When compared to an orange, Camu Camu offer 30 times more vitamin C, 10 times more iron, three times more niacin, two times more riboflavin and 50 per cent more phosphorus. An easy way to help ward off those viruses.

Make sure you’re armed to ward off colds and flu this winter with A.Vogel’s mini sized Echinaforce. Research has found that those using it experienced a 63 per cent reduction in the cold and flu symptoms. Not all Echinacea products are the same and the quality of the raw ingredients can make a big difference to the herb’s effectiveness. A.Vogel nutritional therapist, Ali Cullen says: “If you’re prone to catching colds the new mini Echinaforce is ideal to carry in your bag to use at the first sign of feeling run down. It will take just a couple of days to build up your immune resistance when taken at the onset of a cold.”

Research also shows that omega-3 fatty acids have a strong anti-inflammatory properties and, therefore, may be useful in the management of inflammatory and autoimmune disease. A high-quality, purified fish oil supplement is the safest and most effective source of omega-3. Nordic Naturals’ patented nitrogen processing ensures that Arctic-D Cod Liver Oil is absolutely fresh and purified of environmental toxins. This omega-rich formula supports cardiovascular health, brain function, and immune health. The added vitamin D3 provides additional bone, immune and mood support.

Taryn Davies

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