The flu is a common, contagious virus that has a large range of symptoms, from light sniffles to fever and vomiting. For most, getting the flu means taking time off of work, an interrupted social life, discomfort, and a period of rest and recovery. For some, the flu virus can have serious health repercussions, especially for those with certain preexisting medical conditions.
Since there is still no cure for the flu, the best approach is prevention. To keep yourself healthy this year, here are some simple (but powerful) actions you can take to reduce your risk of contracting the flu.
Get A Flu Shot
There are several strains of the influenza (flu) virus that are always mutilating and changing. This means that the antibodies you developed last year to recover from the flu will not protect you against this year’s virus. One of the best ways to prevent getting the flu this year is by getting a flu shot.
Flu shots change every year and contain common strains of that season’s influenza virus. When you get a flu shot, the vaccine is injected into your body, and your body develops antibodies to fight it off. The flu shot strengthens your immunities and helps you build a defence against the virus before you contract it.
The flu shot is recommended for almost everyone over the age of 6 months. Talk to your physician or a physician at WWMG about getting the flu shot today.
Keep A Safe Distance
The flu virus is contagious, so it’s important to take measures to protect yourself from physically contracting the virus. Keep a safe distance from strangers and from people who are coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching public surfaces such as counters, faucets, and door handles without a protective barrier like a paper towel, as flu germs can remain on surfaces for up to 8 hours.
Avoid Touching Your Face
When you touch a germ-covered surface and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, you transmit the virus directly to your body and endanger yourself. Avoid touching your face, especially when you’re in public.
Germs are transmitted through the air and through contaminated surfaces, so it’s crucial that you take extra care to sanitize everything from your home to your hands.
Wash Your Hands
We cannot stress this enough. Whether you are out in public or at home, wash your hands frequently throughout the day. Sanitizing your hands frequently reduces your risk of getting the flu. It is especially important to wash your hands before and after:
- You eat
- You use the restroom
- You handle food
- You touch your face
- You are in public
- You shake hands
Wash your hands with soap and warm water, and carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you for disinfecting on-the-go.
Disinfect Your Environment
Frequently wipe down surfaces at home, work, and before touching them in public, especially if you or someone around you is sick. Carry disinfectant wipes with you for sanitizing surfaces when you’re not at home.
Prevent Airborne Germs
When you are sick, you transmit the flu virus through droplets from your nose and mouth. Sneezing and coughing can make the virus airborne and endanger those around you. If you are sick, protect your mouth and nose by covering them with a tissue when coughing or sneezing to keep the germs contained, disposing of the tissue properly, and washing your hands after you sneeze or cough. If you’re spending time in a public place, consider wearing a facemask to keep from contracting the flu from others, or transmitting the virus if you already have it.
Stay Home When You’re Sick
If you are sick, you have a responsibility to those around you to do everything in your power to keep from spreading the virus. Don’t be patient zero; instead, stay home when you’re feeling sick. Avoid close contact with others, going to work, social activities, and running errands.
Practice Healthy Habits
Your daily habits can increase or reduce your risks of getting the flu. You can reduce your risk of getting the flu if you:
- Get plenty of rest – 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
- Drink lots of water – Dehydration can reduce your body’s ability to fight infection.
- Eat nutritious foods – Eat a balanced diet full of antioxidant-rich foods.
By getting the flu shot, disinfecting often, and practising other healthy lifestyle habits outlined above, you can greatly reduce your risk of contracting the flu virus this season. For more information on getting the flu shot, contact us at WWMG.