The season of coughing, sneezing, and constant sniffling has arrived and will probably stay until March. It’s flu season! Although most people know about the flu, many believe if they get the flu, it’s no sweat (figuratively). But there’s a reason why there’s widespread availability of the flu shot. Influenza is like a cold, but more intense, it’s super contagious, and wiped out millions of people a hundred years ago.
So yes, it is kind of a big deal. That’s why everyone should get their flu shot with no ifs, ands, or buts! After you have done that, here are some tips for staying healthy in winter:
This is one of the times where it’s backed up by a health professional to avoid people in your daily life, more so than you might think you do usually. Stay away from people who are sniffling more than twice a minute and if they sneeze, clear out! The germs escape their mouths and can reach anyone in close contact. Err on the side of caution and keep everyone an arm’s length away.
Sub-tip: No kissing!
If your partner or someone close to you is sick, take a break from kissing as the infection spreads when it hits your mucosal membrane. Cuddling is off the table too.
Wash Your Hands
You should wash your hands after you touch any communal surface – door knobs, light switches, the coffee machine, and any others. Since another flu prevention tip is to avoid touching your face or mouth, frequent handwashing can keep you protected from any accidental face touching.
Clean and Disinfect
You don’t have to be the germaphobe in the office, but an anti-bacterial wipe from time to time won’t hurt. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Stay Home if You’re Sick
Avoid infecting your workplace or school by staying home in bed when you’re sick. It’s an actual time where staying in bed is a warranted excuse to not go to work. It’s no vacation since you’ll probably be sleeping most of the time with a stuffy nose and aches and pains while drinking lots of fluids.
Health professionals advise people to relax and avoid stress. Bodies under stress are less likely to produce the antibodies that develop in response to the flu vaccine. If you’re preoccupied with disinfecting, your body will be busy focused on that stress rather than making antibodies. When it comes to the flu, you can’t avoid it, so don’t stress!
Who’s at Risk for the Flu?
Everyone is at risk for the flu and these prevention measures only lessen the chances of getting infected. Young children, pregnant women, and adults over the age of 65 have a higher risk of infection. If you are around or work with any of these groups, flu prevention habits are a must.
One of the most important winter health tips is get your flu shot! No matter how sterile your environment is, you will be exposed to the flu one way or another. Let the science of vaccines protect you this year!