Health & Wellness

Staying Flu-Free – What You Need to Know!

flu shotThis year’s predominant flu strain is H3N2, a form of Influenza A which begins to be spread when a sick person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or even breathes. These actions release tiny droplets into the air that can enter the mouths or noses of healthy people. The flu virus can also be spread by touching surfaces that have flu germs and then touching one’s eyes, nose, or mouth. In doing so, this introduces the flu virus into one’s system.

The best line of defense against the flu is to do the following:

  • Get your flu shot (talk to your doctor about this option)
  • Take care of yourself (eat well, hydrate, exercise, sleep well, take vitamins/probiotics per doctor’s recommendation)
  • Manage stress (which may help your immune system)
  • Avoid sick people whenever possible
  • Move away from people who are coughing in public (6 feet away or more)
  • Avoid hand-shaking during flu season
  • Do not share utensils or drinking glasses (say no thank you when someone tells you to take a sip of their drink)
  • Avoid large, crowded spaces
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after touching commonly used surfaces such as doorknobs and elevator buttons
  • Sanitize frequently used objects (examples: light switches, computer keyboards, remote controls, etc.)
  • Wash your hands before, during, and after eating food (tips: Use warm water and soap, sing the Happy Birthday song twice while scrubbing – rinse well and dry)
  • After washing your hands, dry them with a clean paper towel to avoid germs
  • Use a hand moisturizer to prevent bacteria and germs from entering broken skin
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes
  • Use disinfecting wipes if handwashing is unavailable
  • Use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing (do not sneeze into your hands)
  • Use a humidifier to prevent nasal membranes from drying out
  • Call your doctor if you suspect the flu
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Per doctor’s orders, take antiviral medicine if believed to be at risk or infected

 

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