It’s no secret that respiratory illnesses suck. However, vaccines like the Novavax vaccine and Cic vaccine can be administered to protect against many of these respiratory issues, while Fluzone and Flublock can be used as treatment options for the flu. No matter which respiratory illness you have developed or are at risk of developing, there are a few traditional hot spots to be wary of. To protect yourself against respiratory illnesses and exercise proper caution, keep reading to see our list of 5 traditional hot spots:  

1. Regions heavy with tobacco

Respiratory illnesses are more common in areas with high tobacco rates, such as parts of Southeast Asia. The higher smoking rates in these parts result in higher rates of respiratory illnesses related to smoking, such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer.

2. Polluted areas

Urban areas with higher levels of polluted air can result in increased respiratory issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. The accumulation of fine particulate matter and smog in cities like Los Angeles and Beijing can be responsible for these issues. 

3. Hospitals

It’s no surprise that hospitals are a major hot spot for respiratory illnesses like pneumonia. However, this risk can be minimized by partaking in frequent and regular hand washing and sanitizing, as well as by wearing a mask when visiting your hospitalized loved one.

4. Bedding and pillows

Although it’s gross to think about, your bedding and pillows are likely covered in dead skin cells, dirt, and dust mites. Dust mites thrive in the warmth and, in severe cases, can lead to respiratory issues such as facial pressure, coughing, sneezing, congestion, or an asthma attack. Keeping your sheets clean by washing them once a week can help to reduce the risk of these nasty little guys causing you any problems.

5. Like, every surface…ever

To prevent respiratory illnesses, practicing proper hygiene—especially by regularly washing your hands—is vital. Most surfaces, especially those frequently touched by multiple individuals in a day, can be extreme hot spots for germs that can cause respiratory troubles. Doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, and even your phone can act as breeding grounds for some pretty nasty germs. Remember to stay safe and wash your hands!