The flu is a highly contagious virus that is easily spread when precautions aren’t taken. For many people who contract the flu, it’s nothing more than a nasty bug; but in serious cases, the flu virus can lead to hospitalization and even death.
The CDC recommends a yearly flu shot for anyone over 6 months of age. The flu vaccine protects against the virus strains that research suggests will be most common in a particular year. The vaccine is especially important for people who are at high risk of complications from the flu, including young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and adults over 65.
In addition to the flu shot, there are some other important steps to take to avoid spreading the virus. As another flu season gets into full swing, here are some tips to prevent getting the flu:
- Avoid contact with people who have the flu.
- If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible. If you have a flu-like illness, stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Do not reuse tissues or leave them lying around.
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water often. Wash your hands for at least 15-20 seconds to kill most germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet, especially if using a public restroom.
- Keep surfaces (such as countertops, doorknobs, phones, remote controls and computer keyboards) in your home or office clean using disinfectant wipes or a spray cleaner.
- Carry antibacterial wipes with you to the gym, on public transport and to other public places to give surfaces a quick wipe-down before you touch them.
- Exercise regularly. A cardio workout that gets your blood flowing can boost your immune system to fight bacteria and viruses.
- Eat a healthy diet. Plenty of protein and lots of fruits and vegetables can help keep your immune system strong to fight off illnesses like the flu.
- Stay hydrated. Water is essential for a strong immune system and a healthy body, and it helps flush toxins out of your system.
Although these tips can’t guarantee you won’t get sick this flu season, taking preventative measures against the flu is the best way to keep you and your loved ones from getting sick. If you have questions about keeping your family safe this flu season, contact Goshen Health's Family Medicine providers.
Posted: 11/13/2015 by
Filed under: flu, illness, vaccination, virus, wellness