You know the signs; a crisp breeze, snowflakes in the air, logs burning on the fire, Flu Season is upon us. Flu activity generally peaks between December and February, so the time is now to start preparing to ensure that you, your family and your colleagues will be happy and healthy this winter! Arm yourself with information, and learn everything you need to know to weather the coldest months of the year.
How can you protect yourself from the flu?
The flu may be all around us but there are several ways we can help ourselves stay healthy. Getting consistent exercise helps build up your body’s immunity; it’s also crucial to always remember to wash your hands and to be wary of frequently contacted surfaces like doorknobs and elevator buttons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend getting yourself and your family members the flu vaccine in the fall.
How to know if you may have the flu?
If you or a family member are experiencing some combination of headaches, fatigue, fever, a sore throat, and a runny or stuffy nose, you may have a case of the flu. By looking out for these symptoms and getting ahead of them, there is a good chance you can recover from the flu at home (if you follow our advice below). In the chance that you or someone close to you has difficulty breathing, chest pain, or is dealing with dizziness or vomiting, your flu may require a visit to the hospital.
What should you do if you or a family member get the flu?
When treating the flu, the main thing you can do is manage the symptoms and wait until the virus passes. You can use decongestants help clear your head and anti-inflammatory medicine to assuage fevers and body aches. There’s also nothing like good old fashioned rest and relaxation; make sure you stay home from work or school, drink lots of tea with honey, take naps, and take a hot bath if you feel up to it.
What to do after the flu?
Congratulations, you have kicked the flu, but now it’s time to make sure it doesn’t come back! Start by cleaning objects around your home that you were in contact with while you had the flu; sheets, blankets and pillows, your pajamas, your telephone, the television remote, germs could be hiding out anywhere. It’s a good idea to sanitize surfaces you may have touched like light switches, handles on drawers and refrigerators, tables and countertops, and doorknobs. You can also open your windows for a few minutes to allow the sunshine and the clean, cold air to clear the room of germs.
The flu can affect all of us, but being cautious, knowing what symptoms to look out for, and knowing how to respond in the case of a flu can help keep you and your loved ones healthy this winter.
THANKS TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH CORPS FOR PROVIDING INFORMATION AND RESOURCES TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS POST.