Flu season is upon us, but there are several things you can do to help prevent the flu from spreading.
Healthy habits can protect you and those around you from germs that spread easily during flu season. The usual time for the flu begins in October and runs through May, but it can strike any time of year. The best way to deal with the flu is to prevent it in the first place.
The flu is caused by a virus which appears as different strains each year. Symptoms include: aching body, fever, chills, coughing, earaches, headaches, or sinus troubles. The flu can spread quickly from person to person through sneezes, coughs, and other physical contact.
- Get a flu shot: Getting vaccinated is especially important for those who are most susceptible, including kids age 6 months – 5 years, those over 65, people with chronic health problems, women who are pregnant, and those who work with children or the elderly.
- Wash up: Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and hot water. When water is not available, use waterless hand sanitizer to kill germs.
- Cover up: Always cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow if necessary. Teach children about covering as well.
- Clean up: Use a disinfectant spray around the house, school, and office to clean common surfaces. Think doorknobs, phones, and other commonly shared items.
- Don’t share: Germs from sharing drinks, lip ointments, or other personal items can spread the flu.
- Eat right: Eating a healthy diet with plenty of produce and whole grains along with the right vitamins and minerals will allow your body to fight off germs and infection more effectively.
- Stay active: Getting exercise each day will build a healthy immune system so you can fight the flu.
- Rest up: Get plenty of sleep to keep your immune system strong.
You can learn more about the flu from Regional Medical Center in our online health library. If you have any questions or would like a physician referral, call our Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5119.