The winter and spring months are often characterized by the flu. Since we spend more time indoors, this and the low humidity of the indoor air, cause the flu virus to survive longer and to spread more quickly through human contact. Most people experience the flu as a week or two in bed, suffering from fever, chills, headaches and exhaustion. While it is never pleasant, we’re usually able to move on with our lives afterwards. However, the flu can be serious and even deadly for children, elderly people and ones with such health conditions as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or a weakened immune system. With the proper knowledge, we can guard ourselves and those around us from getting the flu.
Get your flu shot.
The best time to get your flu shot is early fall but if it slipped your mind, you can get it in the winter too. According to experts, this is the single best way to avoid the flu. It is engineered to protect you from the flu strains that are predicted to be widespread during that season. While you may have a low grade fever after receiving the shot, you cannot catch the flu from the vaccine because it uses either a weakened or killed form of the virus.
Take extra caution with cleanliness.
Since the flu can be easily passed through sneezing, coughing and crowded areas, it never hurts to take extra precautions. Make sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer every time you shake hands, or touch a potentially germ-covered surface.
Fight to stay healthy!
The stronger your immune system is, the better it is able to fight off germs and the flu. You can strengthen your immune system by continuing to eat a balanced, healthy diet, getting consistent exercise and guarding your seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
If you do happen to come down with the flu, be extra careful to not spread the virus. The flu is contagious for up to a week after you start feeling sick and can last even longer in children. Make sure you stay home until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours, continue to wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow and dispose of all used tissues.
From your specialists at Oklahoma Otolaryngology Associates – Here’s to a healthy 2015 for us all!