Each winter, influenza ‘season’ comes around. Cold weather, holiday gatherings, and weakened immune systems combine to create the perfect storm where catching the flu is easier than ever. Luckily, everyone can take certain actions to prevent getting the flu during this season!
Catching the Flu
The flu is a colloquial term referring to a group of viruses under the influenza umbrella. There are dozens of flu strains. The flu is spread through droplets, like when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread through direct contact with infected saliva.
The flu can range from mild to severe and really depends on the individual. In any case, catching the flu is never enjoyable. So, here’s how to avoid it!
Tips to Prevent Catching the Flu
You have power over your health! You can take preventative steps to avoid catching the flu.
Some actions you should take to lower your chance of catching the flu are:
- Wash your hands with high-quality hand soap regularly. You should wash your hands whenever you’ve been in contact with surfaces that are touched heavily by others!
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Also, if you are feeling unwell and must go out in public, it’s a good idea to wear a mask!
- Avoid unnecessary travel. Travel is a common culprit for catching illnesses. Airplanes, buses, and trains all require people to be in close quarters. So, avoid it if possible.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or hands, especially if you have not recently cleaned your hands. Germs on your hands can infect you with sickness through mucous membranes, like inside your nose.
- Regularly disinfect surfaces in your house such as doorknobs, countertops, sink handles, and more. This stops the spread of germs resting on the surface.
- Get the influenza vaccine, especially if you have a weakened immune system, are over 65 years old, are under 12, or are pregnant. Anyone can get the flu shot (and benefit from its protection) but it’s highly recommended that people with risk factors do so.
Flu season comes and goes every year. It might be stressful to worry about catching the flu, but if you are trying to live in the healthiest way possible, you have nothing to worry about. If you are high-risk, you can get a flu shot, which has proven to be safe and effective.