According to an article printed in the Washington Post, flu is hitting the United States earlier and harder this season than usual. In the same article it was reported that there have already been 880,000 cases of influenza illness, 6,900 hospitalizations and 360 flu related deaths nationally, according to estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Following are some tips to employ to try and keep you and your family safe:
Wash your hands often. The flu virus can survive on surfaces. One of your best defenses is to keep your hands clean. You’ve heard it before, a lot during COVID, the same is true the flu. Lather up while singing happy birthday. Your hand wash should take about 20 seconds. That is all that is needed to get rid of all the germs.
Make use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. When you don’t have access to wash your hands, use a alcohol based hand sanitizer with at least 60 to 95 percent ethyl alcohol.
Wear a mask. I know this one is a bit controversial. Many of us are very tired of wearing masks. The reality of wearing a mask is that it works. High quality masks have been proven to slow the spread of viruses.
Cover your nose properly when sneezing. Sneeze into the crook of your elbow and not your hand. If by chance you sneeze into your hands, it’s easy to do, then make sure you wash your hands vigorously as indicated above.
Keep your stress levels low. Stress has been noted to lower or immune response. Chronic stress can produce higher-than-normal levels of the hormone cortisol. This can hamper the body’s anti-inflammatory response and cause continual infections, according to recent immunology research studies. Meditate, exercise, or perform whatever self-care stress reduction practice that you have in your toolbox.
Take the flu vaccine. Flu can be dangerous. If you have a medical condition where your immune system is already comprised or are over 50, talk to your doctor. This might be something for you to consider.
In the off chance that you or a family gets the flu. Talk to your doctor about an antiviral drug that may significantly reduce your risk of getting it yourself.
In conclusion, a big factor is your immunity. You should do whatever you can to keep it strong. Eat a healthy diet, keep hydrated by drinking plenty water, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and get plenty rest. If this sounds simple, it’s because it is. We have the power in our hands to keep ourselves and our families safe!