Hygiene is the basis of infectious disease control. Discover information and know-how that can easily be put into practice in daily life. The best way to prevent infection is to change our behaviour.
Avoiding the Virus
Fighting the Virus
～To prevent others from catching it ~ When you sneeze or cough, you may be carrying a virus in droplets, so keep the following cough etiquette in mind.
Wear a mask.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.
In case of emergency, cover it with the inside of the sleeve or jacket.
Stay away from the people around you as much as possible.
The relationship between oral hygiene and infection.
The mouth is the entrance to the body from which foreign substances such as food and disease-causing pathogens can enter. The mucous membranes of the nose and mouth are equipped with a defense against pathogens called mucosal immunity.
When a pathogen enters through the mouth and adheres to the mucous membrane, mucosal immunity sends information about the pathogen's invasion to systemic immunity, and at the same time, it quickly responds to the pathogen by secreting a substance (secreted IgA) in saliva that blocks the pathogen's invasion through the lymphatic tissue near the adherent mucous membrane. Because the influenza virus multiplies in the mucous membranes of the throat and trachea, this mucosal immunity is effective in preventing infection.
Saliva defends against bacteria and viruses, and even washes away the dirt in your mouth. In addition, mucin in saliva has a protective effect on mucous membranes and epidermal growth factor repairs damaged mucosal tissues.
The mouth is home to more than 300 types of bacteria and fungi at any given time, and our bodies coexist just as well with the bacteria in our mouths as they do with our gut. The proper presence of bacteria in the mouth prevents the infection of many pathogens.
It is well known, however, that neglecting tooth brushing and oral care can lead to poor hygiene in the mouth and the growth of bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease, resulting in plaque (tooth decay).
The plaque is thought to contain bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Serratia, which can cause serious infections, as well as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae, which are involved in the development and aggravation of bronchitis and pneumonia.
These bacteria produce an enzyme called protease, which disrupts the defense function of the mucous membrane and makes it easier for the influenza virus to enter the cells from the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract.
It is also known that in elderly people who have a weakened ability to swallow, bacteria mixed with saliva can enter the lungs and cause pneumonia.
In other words, if your mouth is left unclean, the amount of protease increases, making it easier for you to get the flu or worse.
Oral care is essential not only to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but also to prevent systemic infections such as the flu and pneumonia.
■The right way to take care of your mouth
Basically, it's important to brush your teeth every day.
After every meal, you should brush your mouth after every meal, as this creates an environment where oral bacteria can easily grow. Plaque, which is a stain on the teeth, is a clump of bacteria. Since plaque creates a barrier, toothpaste or mouthwash is not the only way to remove it, so be sure to remove it with a toothbrush.
1) Okuda, K. et al.: Report of a research project on the implementation method and evaluation of the effectiveness of a class for prevention of respiratory tract infection by oral care, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 2003, Community Health Research Association, Tokyo, 2004.
2) Abe S, Ishihara K, Adachi M, Sasaki H, Tanaka K, Okuda K. Professional oral care reduces influenza infection in elderly. Arch Gerontol Geriatr.2006 .43:157-64.
3) Abe O, Okuda K, et al. Journal of the Japanese Society of Dental Medicine: 25, 27-33, 2006.
Use one's fingers correctly（proofreading必要）
By separating the fingers that you use, you can lower the risk of infection.