The end of November is approaching, which means the weather is changing and with that comes flu season. Even if you’re already at home, you still need to protect yourself. The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses and even though in majority of the cases it’s mild, the last thing anyone wants right now is a covid scare, only to realise it’s the common flu. Plus, our immune system needs to be protected! Read our tips on how to avoid catching the common flu:
How Does The Flu Spread?
The flu is contagious – which means it spreads easily from person to person, mostly through the droplets in the air. The infection can be passed on even before you feel any symptoms; you start being contagious few days after you get sick. The flu can easily be caught when someone coughs or sneezes and even through touching something that the virus is on. The flu can be easily confused with a common cold, however a cold is a lot milder than the flu. With the flu, one can experience a fever, dry cough, general aches, chills and a headache. Whereas with a cold, the more common symptoms include a stuffy nose and a sore throat.
Tips To Prevent The Flu
Get A Flu Shot
One of the main preventative measures for avoiding the flu is getting a flu shot. Getting a flu shot should be done every year since it can help you stay healthy and reduce the risk of the illness, or at least an intense version of it.
Clean And Disinfect Surfaces
The flu virus can be on surfaces for up to 24 hours, therefore wiping down anything that could be contaminated can help. This can include anything from phone chargers, handles of fridges, microwaves, light switches and chairs! This can be easily done by using any disinfecting wipes, which can be found at any local store.
In hospital environments, doctors and nurses wear a surgical mask and gloves to avoid contact with infected patients. Therefore, if you’re around someone who is has any symptoms or is feeling sick, put on a mask immediately (as you already should be during this pandemic!). Ideally, if you’re around someone whose sick it’s important to stay at least six feet away at all times. Like COVID, the flu virus travels through the air in small droplets; through a cough or a sneeze. So it’s best to keep a distance from anyone with symptoms.
Boost Your Immune System
The immune system protects the body from infections. When it is functioning efficiently, it attacks the viruses in the body and prevents the body from certain disorders. In order to build your immunity and ensure it fulfils this function, it’s important to eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables, exercise frequently, and get enough sleep. By taking these simple steps, you can strengthen your immune system and protect yourself against the flu.
Practice Good Hygiene
Get in the habit of washing your hands regularly! After eating, going to a restaurant or any public gathering, it is important to wash your hands! You should also be carrying a sanitiser around which you could use throughout the day. Not only should you wash your hands but also refrain from touching your nose, mouth, or face – basically follow similar SOPs as with the coronavirus.
Remember the flu and coronavirus can feel very similar. If you feel flu-like symptoms, it’s best to quarantine yourself and get tested. Protect yourself and others!