Flu season is in full swing, and this year’s most prevalent strain, H3N2, is an unwanted interruption to daily life and a lousy way to have to spend several days. So what can you do to avoid the tell-tale symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, and body aches?
Here are 5 preventative steps you can take now to keep yourself healthy, increasing the chances that you’ll sail through flu season without having to call in for a sick day.
1 – Get the flu shot as soon as possible.
A flu vaccine may increase your chances of staying healthy by 70%. The flu shot is recommended for anyone over 6 months old, and it is especially important for those who may experience additional difficulties if infected because of chronic conditions or age.
Specifically, young children and people over the age of 65, as well as, pregnant women and anyone who suffers from lung disease would benefit from a flu vaccine. It is best to get the flu shot as early in the season as possible, as shortages may occur as the season goes on. Flu vaccines can be provided by your primary care physician.
2 – Keep a safe distance between yourself and a sick person.
If your coworker, roommate, or fellow bus rider can’t stop coughing and blowing his or her nose, keep your distance. The flu spreads from person to person through the nose and mouth, so keep a few feet between yourself and your friend’s uncovered cough.
Conversely, if you do find yourself coming down with flu-like symptoms, it may be wise to stay home until symptoms have subsided, so as not to infect anyone else.
3 – Wash your hands frequently.
Anything that an infected person touches (e.g. doorknobs, dishes, computer keyboards) quickly becomes a transmitter for the flu. To avoid receiving those germs, wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. Hand sanitizer is also an option if a sink is not readily available.
Additionally, keep your hands away from your face, as this is the most vulnerable part of your body to receiving the flu virus.
4 – Go for healthy foods rich in antioxidants.
A healthy and fully functioning immune system requires certain nutrients, vitamins, and lots of antioxidants. These can be found in superfoods like,
- whole grains
- green vegetables
Including these foods every meal is a simple way to ensure that your body is strong enough to fight off germs. Look into finding recipes that incorporate these superfoods into meals full of nutrients and vitamins that will boost your immune system.
5 – Drink lots of water.
Another way to ensure that your immune system stays strong is to keep yourself hydrated. The average adult should drink between 9 and 13 cups of water per day.
Drinking enough water keeps the body functioning properly and is one of the easiest ways to prevent illness. Carry a refillable water bottle around with you throughout your day to remind yourself to drink water.
Make your health a priority.
Doing the above steps will likely decrease your chances of ending up bedridden with the flu this season, but should find yourself experiencing flu symptoms, be sure to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. In the event that your symptoms worsen dramatically, it is probably a good idea to seek a doctor’s advice.
Our Convenient Care Center is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. There, you will find efficient and quality care that will help get you healthy and flu-free.