What Should You Do To Prevent The Flu?
At a restaurant with a friend, individuals all around you are sneezing and coughing, not properly covering noses and mouths. You hardly enjoyed your meal. A few days later, that lunch buddy calls and says she tested positive for the flu. Oh no! What should you do?
Influenza, or more commonly called flu, is a viral respiratory illness that affects the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. It can appear suddenly and cause mild to severe symptoms such as fever, headaches, muscle aches, sore throat, stuffy and runny nose, chills and in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea. Not everyone with the flu will have a fever or all of these symptoms. These feelings can last a few days or up to two weeks.
Avoiding crowds is one way to avoid germs and getting the flu, but most of us cannot live that way for long. You’ll be exposed to others at your job and daily routine. Here are five ways to help protect the body and prevent the flu virus from spreading:
- Disinfect your hands and surfaces.
Wash your hands regularly. This is especially important before preparing food and eating. The flu virus can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours so wiping down areas you’re exposed to before sitting or eating food is a good practice. (See Page 3 for hand hygiene tips).
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose unless your hands are clean.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Use a tissue for your nose, and throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands right after. Don’t use a handkerchief or cloth more than once without washing it.
- Get the flu vaccination each year and obtain it early in the season
The flu virus changes from year to year, so you’ll need to update your vaccination annually. Keep in mind that the flu vaccine takes about two weeks to be effective. Therefore, it’s better if you obtain it early in the season, before the flu virus spreading heightens.
- Boost your immunity year round.
The best way to protect yourself against the flu and any virus is to take care of yourself all the time. Eat nutritious foods and avoid processed ingredients that negatively impact the body. Obtain adequate sleep each day. Exercise regularly. Consider taking a probiotic or supplement* that helps keep your immunity up all the time. (*Talk to your doctor first before you begin taking anything.)
- See your doctor if you have any flu-like symptoms.
If you feel you have any of the flu symptoms such as fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches, runny nose and fatigue, contact your doctor. You can make an appointment online at Baptist Health Care using EasySchedule.com from your mobile phone or the comfort of your home electronic device. You may be prescribed an antiviral medication like Tamiflu to lessen the severity of symptoms.
TAKE CARE OF YOU THIS FLU SEASON AND YEAR-ROUND
The flu virus can be dangerous, especially for the elderly, sick and those with any current medical conditions. Don’t panic if you’ve been exposed to it or think you may have it. Take the listed preventative steps to protect yourself and reduce the risks for it. Call the doctor or use EasySchedule.com to make an appointment if you suspect you or a loved one may have the flu. Get rest and then enjoy the the season.