Pakar Kista

Flu Season Has Started: How Can You Prevent Yourself From Catching It?

Flu season occurs every year between October, December, and February. Avoiding flu during the flu season can be tricky because the influenza virus is highly contagious.  However, there are many effective ways to prevent oneself from catching the flu during flu season.

The flu is a respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses. It affects many people each year. It can be severe, leading to hospitalization and other complications such as pneumonia and even death. Some of the common symptoms of flu include:

  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue

These symptoms usually improve in about one week, with many people recovering fully without any complications.

How can you avoid catching the flu during this flu season?

Here are some of the most effective methods that you can use to prevent catching the flu during the flu season.

  1. Get a flu shot

This is one of the most effective ways you can prevent the flu. A seasonal flu shot protects against viruses that cause the flu. A single shot typically protects against four different viruses. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] recommends getting a flu shot in October because this is usually the time when the flu is at peak.

Receiving the flu vaccine usually entails going to a doctor’s office or pharmacy and getting an injection in the upper arm. Anyone older than six months should get an annual flu vaccine. The shot a person receives varies, depending on their age, health status, and if they are pregnant.

  1. Avoid large crowds

Although avoiding large crowds can be quite tricky, it’s crucial, especially now during the coronavirus pandemic. If you can avoid large crowds during flu season, you can significantly reduce your chances of catching the flu.

One thing with flu is that it tends to spread quickly in confined spaces, such as workplaces, schools, nursing homes, etc. If you have a weaker immune system, it’s advisable to wear a face mask whenever you are in a public space during flu season. You should also protect yourself by avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Keep your distance from any person who is sneezing, coughing, or has other symptoms of cold.

  1. Practice good hygiene

Another effective way you can prevent yourself from catching the flu during flu season is by practicing proper hygiene. The flu virus is highly contagious; it can spread to someone standing within 6 feet through droplets produced when talking, sneezing, or coughing. In some cases, people catch the flu by touching contaminated surfaces.  Research shows that a single contaminated doorknob could spread the influenza virus to up to 60{14b1031694aec2b3166be54b9be3e3e63eee46ecc3b98eea28f6d2b91027c075} of workers and office visitors within 4 hours of contamination. That’s why health experts emphasize the importance of proper hygiene practices in the workplace and even in public spaces.

Here are some hygiene practices that can help you avoid catching the flu:

Wash your hands frequently: wash your hands regularly with soap and water. If these are not available, you can use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

Cover your mouth and nose: when sneezing or coughing, use a tissue and dispose of it immediately after use.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth: if you must touch them, wash your hands first to ensure that they are not contaminated.

Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly: as mentioned above, you can get the flu through touching contaminated surfaces. That’s why you need to clean and disinfect the surfaces to ensure that they are germ-free.

If you must go out, ensure that you wear a face mask.

  1. Boost your immune system

The immune system typically protects the body from any infection. If you have a strong immune system, it will help you fight off infections and reduce the severity of symptoms. Here are some strategies to help you boost your immune system:

  • Eat a healthy diet that’s rich in vegetables and fruits
  • Exercise regularly
  • Sleep for at least 8 hours each night
  • Try to reduce stress

You can also talk to a doctor to prescribe a multivitamin that can help improve the immune system.

  1. Visit a doctor if your flu symptoms arise

The flu is quite risky for people who are 65 years and above. That’s why people in this age group should see a doctor immediately if they notice any flu symptoms. A doctor at the San Antonio Emergency Room will assess the symptoms and can prescribe an antiviral medication.