It’s a common theme every fall and winter. The cold weather moves in, and people don’t properly prepare themselves for the health consequences. Then the first ringing of coughing is heard. Sniffles become noisier than crickets and without anyone foreseeing it, it’s flu season. Suddenly people are looking at others with distrust, searching for the telltale symptoms to ensure that they aren’t included in the latest flu pandemic.
How to avoid getting the flu:
- Get a flu shot - Every year flu shots are offered up to people free of cost. Take advantage of this and get your flu shot. Each year the flu is slightly different, and the flu shots are designed for whatever cocktail of flu is going to be chasing you for the upcoming fall/winter season. It’s not a 100% effective solution but it makes an immense difference.
- Avoid sick people - Hopefully you got your flu shot. But even when that’s the case you do still have a small risk of getting the flu.
- Wash Your hands - Another simple common sense tip that is ignored or completed incorrectly. Washing your hands will physically remove germs as long as you use the proper procedure. You should always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and get every aspect of them (yes that means under the fingernails too). How often should you wash your hands? Take the amount you think you should wash them, and increase it nearly exponentially. Constant washing of hands is crucial to avoiding illness.
- Keep a Clean Environment - Keep your shared spaces nicely sterilized. Consistently clean and sanitize areas that may have multiple people touching things. This will avoid any ancillary touching and picking up of the flu.
How to avoid giving the flu to other people:
- Stay Away From Them! - This is fairly common sense, but if you’re not around people then you can’t give them your flu cooties. You’re not helping your place of employment by fighting through a tough day when you infect several other people and start a workplace epidemic. Workplaces are one of the most common places to contract the flu for that very reason. Sick days are there for a reason folks. Use them appropriately for your sake and your co-workers.
- Cover Your Orifices! - Your mouth and nose leak flu germs and when you sneeze, cough or blow your nose it spreads those germs elsewhere. Simply by covering yourself every time you need to do one of those things it will reduce the germs you are spreading.
- Wash Your Hands! - Did you read this portion above? Good. Because keep washing those hands. Just as you didn’t contract the flu because you washed your hands and any germs on them away, you can’t spread it if you’re washing your hands and removing the germs.
- Don’t Touch Your Nose or Mouth - As a precursor the washing your hands rule, try to avoid touching your nose and mouth at all. It’s another way to spread the germs that you’re trying to contain to yourself.
Flu season can be a tough time for people. Sometimes it may only be a day, but sometimes the symptoms will drag on for an extended period of time. Regardless of the severity, the best cure is prevention. Prevent the flu from spreading in the beginning and then you are set!