Most people go about their daily routines taking their overall health for granted. If nothing hurts and we’re comfortable, it’s easy to not give our well-being a second thought. But once flu season comes around and you start seeing family members and co-workers walking around looking miserable, and spreading germs, your senses go on high alert. You have things to do, places to go. The last thing you need is to have influenza slow you down. So what can you do to protect yourself?
What Is Influenza?
Influenza (commonly known as “the flu”) is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory system. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and can knock you down for several days. Influenza symptoms include:
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
- Body Aches
The virus is spread by tiny drops of saliva when people sneeze, cough, or talk. The likelihood of contagion increases when the infected person touches their mouth, nose, or eyes, then make physical contact with people or shared objects and surfaces.
While most people can recover relatively quickly with rest and antibiotics, some people are at high risk of developing complications, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. These include children under five years of age, pregnant women, adults over 65 and people with serious underlying conditions, such as heart disease or blood disorders.
How To Protect Yourself From The Flu
1. Wash Your Hands
This seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of people walk out of bathrooms without taking the time to wash their hands. Use soap and warm water and rub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Remember to wash between the fingers and under nails.
2. Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Mouth, And Nose
This is the easiest way for you to spread your own germs as well as to bring someone else’s flu microbes into your system.
3. Wipe Surfaces
If you work in shared spaces, keep disinfectant wipes handy and use them regularly. If you know you have co-workers who come in sick to the office, request to work remotely for a couple of days or speak with your supervisor so that the sick person can be asked to stay home.
4. Sneeze Into The Crook Of Your Arm
How many times have you sneezed or coughed into your fist? You then open doors, use office supplies, push the button on the water cooler, and greet colleagues with a handshake. This is what makes it so easy for the flu virus to spread like wildfire. If you forget and sneeze into your hands, wash them immediately afterwards.
5. Eat Healthy Foods
Quick question. Who do you think is going to have better health? Someone who eats bacon-wrapped everything, or someone who makes an effort to incorporate plant-based whole foods into their lifestyle? Look for foods that boost your immune system, such as oranges, ginger, spinach, berries, and whole grains.
6. Stay Hydrated
Drinking water regularly helps loosen mucus. You get extra points if you drink it warm or hot (drink it with tea and honey if the thought of hot water doesn’t sound appealing). This is because ingesting warm or hot water aids the body in relaxing and detoxifying.
7. Get Vaccinated
This is especially important if you’re at high risk (young children, pregnant women, and senior citizens fall into this category), or if you have a chronic medical condition. Keep in mind that the strain of the virus evolves from year to year, so if you want to get a shot, do it annually.
24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas
If you have the flu, we can provide you with the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.
Find the Complete Care location nearest you.