Flu season is just around the corner. You don’t want to spend your days sniffling, sneezing, and coughing…so what can you do? There are plenty of ways you can help protect yourself from the seasonal flu. Here are five ways to stay safer this year.
Get the Flu Shot
The flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself from illness this season. While vaccines vary in effectiveness year to year based on the strains bouncing around and the variety of vaccines given, the CDC says flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population. If you want to get the flu shot, talk to your doctor or schedule time at a nearby clinic.
Proceed with Caution
Germs are all around us – in and on other people, on surfaces, and in the air. You can minimize your contact with them by staying away from anyone who appears to be sick, disinfecting surfaces regularly, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands thoroughly and frequently.
See Your Doctor
We can’t always avoid contracting the flu, so if you happen to get it, don’t hesitate to see your doctor, who can give you antivirals or antibiotics to help treat your illness. They can also recommend over-the-counter remedies to handle symptoms such as runny nose, cough, mild fever, and body aches.
The worst thing you can do when you’re sick is run around, wearing yourself down and exposing others to your germs. Do not leave your house unless it is to seek medical care – and keep your distance from others when doing so. You should not go out until you are confident that you are no longer contagious. A good rule of thumb is 24 hours after your fever subsides. If your doctor offers different advice, follow that instead. Be sure to consume plenty of water, which is especially important when your body is trying to heal!
Watch for Worsening Symptoms
Your symptoms may worsen within the span of your flu, but be reasonable about how sick you should be feeling. If you are experiencing shortness of breath, dizziness, or excessive vomiting, contact your doctor immediately.
We love the fall, but we hate the flu that lurks in hidden places during the cooler months. Use these bits of knowledge to stay safe and ensure your health all season long.