With this being one of the worst flu seasons on record, it is imperative that we know how to protect ourselves against the flu. If you think you are covered by the flu shot this year, think again. It only covers some of the strains, and even those you can still get (just on a lesser scale).
So how do you protect yourself from getting the flu and other respiratory viruses?
First, let’s cover the basics: covering your mouth with your hand may actually spread more germs, because then every surface you have touched between that time and the time you wash your hands has now become a breeding ground for bacteria. Rather than coughing into your hand, cough into the inside of the elbow. This protects three sides of possible distribution, and it isn’t at risk of touching and handling objects as much. Wash your hands frequently. We all know this, but one other tool to help with this is an automatic soap dispenser, so that you are not touching the pump with your infected hands. When you have one or more people in your home battling the flu, they should have their own hand towel for drying their hands. Keep your toothbrushes from touching one another, and be sure to replace them once the bug has left the building (not just for those that were sick, but for everyone in the house). Use disinfectant wipes to wipe off door handles, light switches, remote controls, phones, handles and buttons on just about anything sick fingers could have been touching (appliances and cabinets etc). Spray disinfectant on your soft surfaces like couches and pillows, and be sure to wash bedding. I add peroxide and vinegar to the wash. Using a humidifier helps not only to make the sick family member feel better faster, but it makes the dust and air particles heavier, so they don’t fly around as easily and reach non-sick family members. Another very important point to make is that if you are running a fever…keep to yourself.
Don’t go to work or school within 24 hours of having a fever!
This is the time that you are the most contagious. Some doctors recommend that if you have been exposed, to increase your intake of vitamin C and Zinc. Now I’m not a doctor and don’t pretend to be, so just check with your own doc, but I cannot imagine that eating more fruits and vegetables would be bad for you when you are trying not to get sick. Hopefully these tips will help you lessen your chances of getting the flu this season. Please leave any questions or tips in the comments section!
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