As summer activities wind down and kids start to go back to school, that ever-disliked season starts to rear its ugly head: flu season. The very young and very old are particularly susceptible to the flu, and if the 2018/2019 flu is anything like the 2017/2018 flu, then we’re in for another intense year. If you’d like to avoid the flu altogether (which we bet you would) consider following these three best practices for a flu-free Fall.
Be mindful of others around you
Influenza (the flu) usually comes on suddenly in people who often feel a mixture of symptoms. Watch for the telltale signs that someone is coming down with the flu. Does your loved one have:
- High fever
- An insatiable cough
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Ceaseless headache
- Muscle aches
- Sudden vomiting or diarrhea
If so, it’s important to take action before things get worse for them or the rest of your family. Fortunately, most people who get the flu will get over it after a few days, but for those with a compromised immune system, additional complications like the onset of pneumonia can be common, and in worse cases death.
Take preventative actions
These may seem like straight-forward common sense solutions, but it’s funny how we as a species can throw common sense to the wind when our loved ones are sick. First and foremost, remember to wash your hands often with soap and water, and avoid touching the mucosal layers of your eyes, nose, and mouth after touching a dirty surface. If you see a trend that the flu is spreading in your area, try to avoid close contact with infected individuals. The flu is an airborne virus that is easy to catch around infected individuals who are constantly coughing. If you happen to catch the flu, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends quarantining yourself for at least 24 hours until after your fever is gone.
The flu is a virus, and viruses can be dealt with by vaccines – it’s not witchcraft, it’s science. The flu vaccine is an attenuated (weakened in force or effect) form of the virus that your body will use to create antibodies specific to that strain. These antibodies will kick in if you do happen to come in contact with the actual flu virus, and will fight off the worse part of the disease. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the single most important step in preventing the spread of influenza.
As the flu season starts to get underway, remember that Premier Health S.C. is here to help you fight the good fight! Stop by today to get your annual flu shot. It’s quick, painless, and it could save your life!