6 Tips: How to Stay Protected During Flu Season
Influenza, also known as the flu, typically has a season which begins in the fall and ends around February. However, the season can go later. Over 200,000 Americans catch the flu every year. Symptoms of the flu can include a fever, sore throat, cough, muscle and body aches, fatigue, headaches, and more. Often, flu symptoms will leave a person temporarily debilitated. In the most severe cases, up to 49,000 Americans will die of the flu and complications from the flu every year. Therefore, knowing how to stay protected during flu season is essential. All it takes is tiny droplets of the virus to spread to you. Follow these tips.
1. Get a Flu Shot
Every year, hospitals, clinics, schools, health fairs, etc. offer yearly flu shots and many of these opportunities are free. A flu shot is the number one way to prevent the flu, and they are particularly important for the elderly and people with certain conditions, such as asthmatics. However, anyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot. The strain of the flu virus changes every year. So it’s essential to get a shot every year.
2. Don’t Shake Hands or Touch Surfaces
Where Hands Have Been Shaking hands with and touching surfaces where hands have been, such as doorknobs, countertops, and light switches, is an excellent way to catch the flu virus. If someone has the flu, touches a surface and then you touch it, or if you shake that person’s hand, you can easily catch the virus too. Disinfect surfaces, on a regular basis, if you know they have come in contact with the flu virus.
3. Keep Your Hands Washed
Washing your hands on a regular basis, particularly after using the restroom is a good practice overall, but it is especially useful for preventing the spread of the flu. No matter if you spend most of your time at home or if you spend most of your time out of the house, washing your hands frequently, and for at least 20 seconds at a time, can slow down or prevent the spread of the flu virus. Hot or cold water can be used. Either will physically remove germs. As an added benefit, use antibacterial soap.
4. Control Your Allergies
If you suffer from allergies, it’s important to keep them under control. When they are acting up, you upper respiratory tree is inflamed. With this condition, your body is more likely to acquire the flu virus.
5. Get Your Sleep
A body that has not received enough rest is often unable to fight off viruses, such as the flu virus. Ensure that you get at least six to eight hours of sleep a night so that your body is strong enough to fight the virus. 6. Stay Hydrated A dehydrated body and lungs are perfect conditions for catching the flu virus. Therefore, it’s crucial that you keep your body and your lungs hydrated. Stay hydrated with water. Broths, juices, and soups also work.