Many people end up with the flu every season because they don’t know how to prevent it. And although it usually means nothing more than a few sick days spent at home, certain factors can make the flu dangerous, especially for people with other health conditions like asthma or heart disease.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent coming down with the flu this season:
1. Avoid Germs
One of the best things you can do to avoid getting the flu is to use common sense about avoiding germs. You’ve probably grown up hearing that you should cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands. These aren’t old wives’ tales – doing what you can to avoid germs and to avoid spreading them will help ensure that you and the people around you don’t get the flu.
2. Maintain Healthy Habits
This one also sounds obvious, but especially around the holidays, people tend to let their healthy habits slide. With busy holiday schedules and all of the treats and fatty foods found at holiday parties, it is especially important to stay on top of your health. Try to keep up your regular exercise routine and choose healthy foods, even with the temptation of candy and cookies.
Getting the vaccination is one of the best ways to stay proactive about avoiding the flu. Ideally, you should be vaccinated as soon as possible, but getting vaccinated any time in the season is better than not at all. Experts design the flu vaccination specifically for the most powerful strains each season.
When most people think of the flu vaccine, they think of the flu shot. The flu shot contains a little bit of a dead flu virus. One kind of this vaccine goes directly into muscle; another kind is injected into only the top layer of skin. Which one you get depends on age, health, and preference.
Another type of vaccine is a nasal spray that contains a weakened flu virus. There are also egg-free vaccines for people who are allergic to eggs. Many people with egg allergies are at a heightened risk for flu-related complications, so it is vital that they receive a flu vaccination.
If you get the flu
Even if you take all the right precautions against getting the flu, there is still a small chance you could come down with the virus. If you do, there are antiviral drugs your doctor can prescribe that, when taken within two days of you getting sick, can help you feel better faster.
If you get the flu, it is even more important to be careful about sharing germs. You can be contagious for a week after getting sick, so be mindful about sharing germs with the people around you. It’s best to stay home until you’ve been fever free for twenty-four hours.
Crisp Regional Hospital is happy to provide all you need to get through flu season staying healthy. Make an appointment to get a flu shot today and talk to your doctor about how you can keep you and your family healthy during flu season.