Sniff! How to Avoid the Flu During Flu Season

Sniff! How to Avoid the Flu During Flu Season

During flu season, it can be a challenge to stay healthy. With so many people at work or school unintentionally sharing their germs with you throughout the day, it can seem impossible to avoid getting sick. Getting into a daily routine of healthy habits can keep that flu virus from spreading to you.  

During the flu season especially, we could all use a reminder to wash our hands regularly. Consider all the times you touch a public hand-rail, elevator button, or door knob during the day. Think about the money you handle, the pen you use to sign a credit card transaction, or the hands you might shake during the business day. All of these things can help spread the flu virus if you aren’t diligent about hand-washing. It is easy to forget that you’ve been in contact with something that might get you sick, and you may find yourself rubbing your eyes, or eating something by hand. Getting into the habit of automatically washing your hands at regular intervals throughout the day can help minimize the chances of you getting infected. Antibacterial hand sanitizers can help when you don’t have immediate access to soap and water, but scientific reports have expressed concern with the effectiveness of these products, and some have debated if they may actually harm the immune system, so moderate use is recommended.

Good habits begin at home, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and household objects that may have germs, including countertops, doorknobs, bathrooms, and kitchen appliances can make a big difference for your family. This will add an extra layer of protection from any germs and make your home safer for everyone.

As difficult as this may be, avoid close contact with sick friends, family members, or coworkers. Many people feel obligated to show up for events or work even if they are ill, so if you are aware that someone has a fever or displays symptoms, try to keep your distance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone over the age of 6. It does not guarantee that you won’t get sick, but it can protect you from the most common viruses. A flu vaccine can help protect you, but it’s important to get one by the end of October if possible. Most insurance plans help cover the cost of the flu vaccine, and they can be scheduled at times to accommodate your schedule.

The flu can affect people differently. According to the CDC, the most common symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.[1] If you are concerned that you might have the flu, please contact your physician. Antiviral drugs may be prescribed to help treat your illness.

 


[1] Three Actions To Fight The Flu;” cdc.gov