*1. ** Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications). *

*2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap). *

*3. **Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method. *

*4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. **This can be done by blowing the nose hard and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in **warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*

*5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C**. If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption. *

*6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.*

*Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,** DRM, DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. *

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