It’s been a rough flu season this year and the CDC recently announced that we still haven’t seen the peak. Confirmed cases of flu reached 85,000 and of course, the actual numbers are surely much higher as many people don’t seek treatment.
While the flu simply runs its course for most people, this year’s strain has caused some pretty severe symptoms and even death. Baby boomers have been hit particularly hard hit. So, what’s the secret to staying healthy when influenza seems to be everywhere?
An ounce of prevention is worth….
A pound of cure, and probably some unused sick time. Despite the fact that we have drones delivering televisions, we still haven’t cured the flu. So, your best weapon is the same as your great-grandparents: avoidance.
- Wash hands – Touching your eyes, nose or mouth is the most common way flu is spread. Flu can live on non-porous surfaces for up to two days, so it’s easy to pick up. Washing your hands or using an effective hand sanitizer throughout the day is the best way to stay healthy.
- Get a flu shot – The CDC tells you, your doctor tells you, the media tells you – the flu shot is safe and usually effective. It’s not a guarantee you won’t get sick, but it’s as close as modern medicine has gotten. It’s pretty much never too late during flu season for the vaccine to do some amount of good, so there is still time to get one if you haven’t yet.
- Stay home when you’re sick – Hey, it’s all about the herd. If you do get the flu, forget what your kindergarten teacher told you and DON’T share. Stay away from work or school or until you’re feeling better. If you need to travel by air, consider wearing a surgical mask to protect others on the flight.
- Humidify your space – Dry air increases your chances of getting sick, so using a whole-home humidifier can help protect you and your family.
Each flu season is a new battle, so understanding how to stay protected is a skill that will serve you each and every winter. Because the viruses that cause flu mutate often, chances are the above list could be your great grandkids best bet too!